Kidnapped taxi driver 'certain he would die'
A MAN who hijacked a taxi with an imitation firearm has been jailed for six years.
The taxi driver -- a foreign national -- said he was 100pc certain he was going to be murdered by Mark Ryan of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect, Limerick, during the two-hour ordeal in Limerick city earlier this year.
Ryan was also sentenced yesterday to slashing a man in the face and stabbing him in the chest and arms outside his home.
At Limerick Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Carroll Moran said the man -- who was seriously wounded -- was assaulted in Moyross, Limerick, on October 31, 2010, as a person known to him owed a debt of €750.
Ryan also pleaded guilty to robbery, false imprisonment, threatening to kill the taxi driver and possession of an imitation firearm on February 12 last.
The taxi driver picked up Ryan on Edward Street in Limerick city shortly after midnight. The passenger produced what appeared to be a gun and threatened to shoot the driver if he didn't hand over money.
During the two-hour ordeal, Ryan kept the weapon pointed at his victim. He stole between €70 and €80 along with the driver's mobile phone.
Ryan, who has 79 previous convictions from 23 separate court appearances, also pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary in December 2010.
Regarding the man who was slashed across the face, the court heard he could have suffered catastrophic injuries.
Ryan paid €1,500 compensation to each of his two victims yesterday and was sentenced to six years' imprisonment.