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‘Cleaver held to driver’s throat’ – court is told

A DUBLIN taxi-driver has been left traumatised after a 15-year-old boy allegedly held a meat cleaver to his throat during a car-jacking on Sunday, a court has heard.

Gardai arrested the boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, after a taxi driver, 36, was robbed at knife-point and his BMW car was seized in Terenure, in Dublin in the early hours of the morning.

It was driven across the city until it collided with another taxi in Cabra however no injuries were caused.

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

He appeared at the Dublin Children’s Court yesterday where Judge John O’Connor granted conditional bail to the youngster who was ordered to appear again on May 26.

The teenager had been arrested at about 5.45am and taken to Rathmines Garda station where he was detained under the provisions of section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 he was later released in the custody of social workers.

Dressed in a T-shirt, runners and tracksuit bottoms, he remained silent as Garda Lee Hunt objected to bail citing the seriousness of the alleged offences.

The court heard that the boy, who is residing in a care centre, “made no reply after caution” when the charges were put to him.

Garda Hunt told Judge John O’Connor yesterday that it was alleged that the teenager flagged the taxi down in the Tallaght area. During the journey it was alleged the boy took the phone and charger and “produced a cleaver and held it to the throat of the taxi-driver”.

Gda Hunt said the teenager then demanded money and the driver pulled his car over. The man pretended to search his clothes for cash, got out of the car and escaped on foot to a taxi rank. Gda Hunt said the man was uninjured but “extremely traumatised by the incident”.

The court heard he left the keys to his BMW in the car and it was alleged the teenager then drove off “in a dangerous and erratic manner” until at Cabra he collided with another taxi.

The boy was accompanied to his hearing by his father and social workers and the court heard that on conviction he could face a sentence of up to 14 years. His defence counsel pleaded for bail and Judge O’Connor noted from evidence of a care worker that the teenager’s accommodation is secure.

He granted bail to the boy to appear again next week.