A KNIFEPOINT robber attacked a taxi driver during a late night hold-up in a Greenock graveyard.

Kieran McDermid duped the cabbie into a bogus fare by saying it was the anniversary of his gran's death.

But the 19-year-old thug fled empty-handed after the brave driver grabbed his blade and snapped it.

The man — who'd driven McDermid to a secluded spot at the cemetery on South Street — then told him: "I'm giving you the opportunity to go now."

The desperate robber chose to punch his intended victim and then struggled with him before eventually running off.

That decision led to McDermid's downfall because he'd left traces of his DNA on the cabbie's fleece top during the tussle on December 9 last year.

He was arrested in early February after robbing a SECOND taxi driver on January 21 whilst armed with a silver-handled kitchen knife.

McDermid fled with a £10 note and a few coins after pulling the car's handbrake and forcing it to a stop in Larkfield.

He pleaded guilty on indictment to both offences at Greenock Sheriff Court and has been remanded in custody pending sentencing.

Prosecutor Emma Jeffrey said of the first attack: "The accused entered the rear of a blue Volkswagen Passat taxi on West Stewart Street, stating that it was the anniversary of his gran's death and he asked to be taken to the cemetery.

"The accused swore in stating, 'Gimme your money and don't press the panic button'.

"The complainer grabbed the knife with his right hand and it snapped."

In the second incident McDermid and a currently unknown male summoned a taxi to an address on Mary Street shortly after 4pm.

As the car entered Earnhill Road McDermid produced the kitchen blade and demanded: "Give me all your money."

McDermid admitted presenting a knife at the first driver, striking him on the head and struggling with him all to his injury and with intent to rob him.

He also pleaded guilty to assaulting the second cabbie whilst acting with another, presenting a knife and robbing him of a sum of money.

McDermid was sentenced to four months detention in April after being caught with a knife concealed within his trouser leg at Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

The teenager, formerly of Caithness Road in Larkfield, had previously begged the court not to convict him of that offence, and give him an absolute discharge instead, because he said his ambition was to become a paramedic.

Sheriff Andrew McIntyre has deferred sentence on the latest offences until June 25 for reports.

He told McDermid: "You will be in no doubt that these are very serious matters."