Hijacker threatened taxi driver with IRA
A self-confessed hijacker who claimed he was operating for the IRA was jailed for taking a taxi at knifepoint.
Belfast Crown Court Judge Gordon Kerr told 29-year-old Stephen Edward Anthony Ferrin the use of a knife and the threat of paramilitary involvement was clearly made to terrorise the driver.
Prosecutor Robin Steer said Ferrin, whose address was given as Maghaberry Prison, ordered the Value Cab driver to take him from Whitewell Road to Ardoyne in north Belfast on April 7 2014.
When they arrived and the driver asked for his fare, Ferrin told him: "No, you're getting out." He added: "The IRA are at the top of the road and told me to do it."
Mr Steer said Ferrin produced a knife, telling the driver: "There are guys at the top of the road and you will be shot." Ferrin was traced through a mobile phone and his DNA was found on the taxi steering wheel.
The court heard Ferrin "was going through a mental breakdown at the time", having lost two brothers to suicide.
He will serve 22 months in custody, followed by a similar period on supervised licensed parole.