Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Screwdriver held to cabbie's neck in carjack, court told

A screwdriver was put to a taxi driver's neck in a bid to hijack his car, the High Court heard.

He was also beaten about the head during an early morning struggle with three men who fled, stealing his car keys and phone, prosecutors said.

The attack happened as the victim dropped his passengers off at Hopewell Place in the Shankill area of Belfast on January 12. Only one of the three suspects has been arrested so far.

Daniel Coulter (19), of Malvern Way, Belfast, faces charges of attempted hijacking, assault, possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage and theft.

Adjourning his application for bail, a judge advised him and his lawyers to consider the potential benefits of any appropriate co-operation with police.

The thwarted carjacking involved a pre-paid £30 fare picked up at a factory in Dollingstown, near Craigavon.

David McClean, prosecuting, said the taxi driver was ordered out of the car after a screwdriver was put to his neck. The victim suffered superficial injuries.

It was alleged that Coulter, a back-seat passenger, ran round and took the keys from the ignition during the incident. He was arrested last week by detectives.

Neither the screwdriver nor the stolen items have been recovered.

Coulter admitted to police he was in the taxi but claimed to have got out before the attack was carried out, the court heard.

An identification procedure is due to take place next month, Mr McClean said.

Bail was opposed.

Mr Justice McCloskey ruled that the application should be adjourned “to allow the dust to settle” and for the identification procedure to be carried out.

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