Teen appears in court over Dublin carjacking

Monday 19 May 2014 14.24
The carjacking happened yesterday morning when a taxi stopped for a fare in Terenure
The carjacking happened yesterday morning when a taxi stopped for a fare in Terenure

A Dublin taxi-driver has been left traumatised after a 15-year-old boy allegedly held a meat cleaver to his throat during a carjacking yesterday, a court has heard.

Gardaí 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 hijacking.

He is charged with 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 today where Judge John O'Connor granted conditional bail to the youngster, who was ordered to appear again on 26 May.

Directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions need to be obtained to determine if the case should stay in the juvenile court or instead be sent forward to the Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

The teenager had been arrested at about 5.45am and taken to Rathmines Garda Station where he was detained. He was later released in the custody of social workers.

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 O'Connor today it was alleged that the teenager flagged the taxi down in the Tallaght area and asked the driver to carry him.

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".

Garda 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.

Garda 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.

Defence counsel Aoife McNickle 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 who has not yet indicated how he will plead and was ordered to appear again next week.

The teenager was warned that it was a condition of bail that he had to continue residing in his current placement.