herald

Saturday 19 January 2019

Boy (15) admits taxi hijack when cleaver put to driver's throat

A SIGNED plea of guilt has been lodged in court by a 15-year-old boy accused of holding a meat cleaver to a taxi driver's throat during a car-jacking in Dublin.

Gardai arrested the boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, after a 36-year-old taxi driver was left traumatised after being robbed at knife-point when his BMW car was seized in Terenure in the early hours of May 18.

It was driven across the city until it collided with another taxi in Cabra, Dublin Children's Court has heard.

The teenager, who is in care, was originally charged with three offences in connection with the hi-jacking - theft of an iPhone 4 worth €400, its charger and €25 in coins; producing a meat cleaver-type knife; and theft of the taxi.

Three additional hit-and-run charges were put to him in connection with the incident.

These relate to damage caused to another vehicle and failing to stop afterwards.

It had been held that the case was too serious to be dealt with in the Children's Court despite pleas for it to be retained there.

This means the case will be finalised in the Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

flagged

The teenager was accompanied to court by his father and lawyer and a "signed plea" of guilty was formally handed in.

Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain was given confirmation of the plea and made the order sending him forward to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for sentencing.

The teenager's next hearing is set to take place on October 17.

Earlier, Gda Lee Hunt had told the Children's Court that it was alleged the teenager flagged the taxi down in the Tallaght area.

It was alleged that during the journey the boy took the phone and charger and "produced a cleaver and held it to the throat of the taxi driver".

Gda Hunt alleged that the boy then demanded money and the driver pulled his vehicle over. He pretended to search his clothes for cash and escaped on foot.

The man was uninjured but "extremely traumatised by the incident".

The court heard the driver left the keys in the car and the teenager then drove off "in a dangerous and erratic manner" until he collided with another taxi in Cabra.

hnews@herald.ie

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