Belfast Telegraph

Taxi driver 'had knife held to throat' during car hijacking

A taxi driver was attacked and had a knife held to his throat during a hijacking in west Belfast, the High Court heard today.

He was forced out of his car after picking up a fare at a restaurant on Kennedy Way, prosecutors said.

The victim managed to punch one of his attackers in the face before running to a nearby cemetery.

Details emerged as a youth accused of stealing the Vauxhall Vectra was refused bail.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, is charged with hijacking, robbery, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.

He faces further counts of dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

Fingerprint and CCTV footage allegedly links him to the incident on August 24.

Conor Maguire, prosecuting, said three people got into the taxi and tried to get the driver to go off the main road near Whiterock Lesiure Centre.

When the driver refused he was punched on the nose by the front seat passenger who demanded his car, the court heard.

Mr Maguire claimed a second man in the back grabbed the victim from behind, held a knife to his throat and told him to hand over the keys.

After the driver left he saw one of the trio get out and tell the others he was taking nothing to do with it.

The taxi was later found abandoned in the St James' Crescent area.

It was claimed that after being arrested and charged the 17-year-old told a policewoman: "F*** you, you dirty s***, you're doing dirty deals."

His barrister raised potential issues over a description of the hijacker which allegedly linked him to the incident.

But refusing bail, Mr Justice Burgess cited the potential risk for re-offending.

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