Wednesday 28 September 2016

Man who threatened to kill taxi driver while armed with a blood filled syringe is jailed

Sonya McLean

Published 26/01/2016 | 15:37

A victim impact report stated that the taxi driver was out of work for three weeks.
A victim impact report stated that the taxi driver was out of work for three weeks.

A man who threatened to kill a taxi driver while armed with a blood filled syringe has been sentenced to four years with the last 12 months suspended.

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Carl McGuinness (20) of Beneavin Road, Finglas East, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to making threats to kill and possession of a syringe on Townsend Street, on August 29, 2015. He has 49 previous convictions including theft, fraud and possession of a syringe.

Garda Gary Woods told Grainne O'Neill BL, prosecuting, that the taxi driver had stopped to allow people to cross in front of him when McGuinness opened his passenger door and threatened to kill him.

The man could see that McGuinness had a blood filled syringe in his hand before he threatened to kill him twice more. Another man then came and pulled McGuinness away from the taxi.

Gda Woods said the man was left terrified and dialled “999”. He then followed McGuinness and the other man in his car and was able to point him out when gardaí arrived.

McGuinness was searched and admitted that he had an uncapped syringe. This was then retrieved from a pocket in his tracksuit bottoms.

A victim impact report stated that the taxi driver was out of work for three weeks. He said the incident was always at the back of his mind while working and if a potential passenger looked anyway “tricky” he would not pick them up.

Gda Woods agreed with Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, that it was an entirely random attack.

Counsel told Judge Melanie Greally that McGuinness was in residential care from the 13 to 18 years old. He then served a prison sentence before he spent time living on the streets due to a drug addiction.

Mr Le Vert said his client had been using both heroin and snow blow on the night of the attack.

Judge Greally said it was a very serious offence and the victim had been going about his “lawful occupation” with no reason to believe that “such an offence was going to unfold”.

She sentenced McGuinness to four years in prison and suspended the final 12 months on strict conditions including that he engage with the Probation Service for two years upon his release.

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