Saturday 24 August 2019

Teen denied bail after being charged in connection with taxi hijacking

The Children's Court, Smithfield
The Children's Court, Smithfield

Tom Tuite

A 17-YEAR-OLD boy has been denied bail after he faced charges in connection with a taxi hijacking in Dublin.

The taxi driver, a 59-year-old man, was taken to St James’s Hospital by ambulance for treatment to serious head and facial injuries sustained at approximately 1am on Monday at Rutland Grove, Crumlin.

A court heard today that he received several blows, was dragged from his car and a phone cable was used in an attempt to strangle him.

The teenage boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was brought before Judge Brendan Toale at the Dublin Children’s Court today.

The teenager made no reply when charged with assault causing harm to the driver and robbing him of €50, the court heard.

Citing the seriousness of the charges, Garda Gary Cleary objected to bail.

He told Judge Toale the case involved an alleged hijacking and a serious assault.

He alleged the taxi collected two males and two females and drove them Rutland Grove.

It stopped and a teenage defendant in the front passenger seat, “punched the driver a number of times”.

Another passenger used a suspected phone charger cable and attempted to strangle the driver, the Garda said.

He was punched repeatedly and “dragged” out of the car and assaulted as he was on the ground, the court heard.

Garda Cleary said the driver was bleeding heavily and an ambulance brought him to hospital where he remained today.

Footage of the incident was captured on an internal camera in the car, Judge Toale heard.

Garda Cleary agreed with defence counsel Alison Fynes that directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) were not yet available.

The Children’s Court could still consider accepting jurisdiction even if the DPP had directed a trial in the Circuit Court which can impose lengthier sentences.

Pleading for bail, counsel said the teen would abide by a strict curfew and heightened signing-on conditions.

The boy, who was accompanied to court by a social worker, did not address the court.

He has not yet indicated how he will plead.

Judge Toale refused to grant bail and remanded the youth in custody to appear again next week.

He noted the defence has requested the DPP to expedite issuing directions because the youth was approaching his 18th birthday when he would become an adult.

Legal aid was granted.

Two females were released from Garda custody and a file will be prepared for the DPP.

Meanwhile a 25-year-old man appeared before Dublin District Court today on connected charges. He made no application for bail and was remanded in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on May 14 next.

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