Teenager charged with taxi hijacking

Andrew Phelan

A TEENAGER has been accused of hijacking a taxi after bludgeoning the driver over the head with a bottle.

Dean Clarke (19) (pictured) allegedly hit the cabbie on the back of the head and got into his seat, driving the taxi around west Dublin before crashing it.

The case against him is due to be sent for a Circuit Court trial after a judge ruled that it was too serious to be dealt with in the District Court.

Clarke, with an address at Leland Drive, Clondalkin, is charged with unlawful seizure of a vehicle at the Red Cow Hotel on January 13, 2010. The charge is under Section 10 of the Road Traffic Act.

He is also charged with unlawful possession of a weapon.

Garda Steven Monaghan said he arrested the accused at Clondalkin Garda Station, where he was charged and made no reply after caution.

Garda Monaghan asked for an adjournment in the case and said the DPP had directed summary trial, meaning that there was consent to charges being dealt with in Dublin District Court, subject to the decision of the presiding judge.

Judge Dermot Dempsey asked for an outline of the alleged facts to allow him to consider whether to accept jurisdiction.

The garda said it was alleged that the taxi driver picked up a fare at the Red Cow Hotel at 3.57am on the morning in question.

The garda did not know whether the cab driver suffered any injuries.

Judge Dempsey refused jurisdiction to deal with the case and adjourned it for the preparation of a book of evidence.

A co-defendant, Ernestas Steponkus (18) of Lindisfarne Grove, Clondalkin, is charged with unlawful seizure of keys. He had the case against him adjourned to the same date.