Saturday 25 October 2014

Teen (15) held meat cleaver to driver's throat, court hears

Tom Tuite

Published 20/05/2014 | 02:30

The Childrens Court in Smithfield, Dublin
The Childrens Court in Smithfield, Dublin
The 15-year-old youth who appeared before the Childrens Court. Collins

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

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

It was driven across the city until it collided with another taxi in Cabra, however no one was injured.

The teenager, who is in care, is charged with three offences in connection with the hijacking: robbery of an i-Phone 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.

Arrested

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 into 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 staying in a care centre, "made no reply after caution" when the charges were put to him.

Garda Hunt told the judge that it was alleged that the teenager flagged the taxi down in the Tallaght area and asked the 36-year-old driver to drive 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".

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 he collided with another taxi.

The boy was accompanied to his hearing by his father and social workers.

The court heard that on conviction he could face a sentence of up to 14 years. Defence counsel Aoife McNickle pleaded for bail and the judge noted from evidence of a care worker that the teenager's accommodation was 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.

Directions from the DPP 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.

Irish Independent

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