PUBLIC-SPIRITED bin men who came to the rescue of a taxi driver after he was robbed at knifepoint in Boscombe have been praised for their actions.

Grandfather Thomas Newton’s throat was slashed and his head cut during a scuffle with two men in his cab on Monday.

Despite his injuries, the 66-year-old refused to hand over his takings and the thieves fled with his mobile phone after being chased by late-night refuse collectors.

The bin men involved told the Daily Echo they did not want to be identified but Bournemouth council praised them for their bravery.

Street services manager Stuart Best said: “On behalf of the council I would like to praise the staff of our contractor Watson CCS Ltd for their quick response and brave actions.”

And Mr Newton’s sister Angela Newton said: “I want to publicly thank them. If they hadn’t turned up when they did Thomas’s life could have been in danger.

“Our whole family are so grateful. Thomas is still a bit shaken but, despite our reservations, he is still determined to work as a taxi driver.”

The attack in Adeline Road sparked an angry reaction from Daily Echo online readers. Nickolai, Bournemouth, said: “What a horrendous thing to do” while Cookie75, Poole suggested that screens should be installed in all taxis to protect drivers.

Ekimnosien agreed, adding: “Screening is the only answer I fear. If any problems, passengers could be driven straight to a police station.”