Knife hijacking suspect refused bail to 'protect the public'
The victim of a knifepoint hijacking in the centre of Belfast was a young female motorist who had just passed her driving test, Belfast Magistrates Court has heard.
Steven Conor Nicholas McCabe, of no fixed abode, was arrested on Monday evening following the aggravated theft of the vehicle.
The Toyota Yaris was stolen at knifepoint from Pretoria Street in the Stranmillis area of south Belfast at around 2pm on Monday.
After forcing his way into the vehicle, the alleged hijacker drove the vehicle a short distance before letting the female motorist out.
The vehicle was recovered later that day on Crumlin's Main Street after hitting another car.
The court heard that 18-year old McCabe was located by officers in Crumlin at around 6pm on Monday. He was subsequently charged with a string of offences including aggravated vehicle taking causing damage, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of class B drugs, common assault, driving with no insurance and failing to report and accident.
A PSNI constable said he believed he could connect McCabe to all the charges before the court.
When it emerged that McCabe was making a bail application, the officer said police were objecting on the grounds of protecting the public.
The officer said the female victim was a young motorist who had just passed her driving test.
She was parking her car, when she was approached by a male who produced a knife. It also emerged that when police gave chase to the stolen Yaris, several people were on board.
After the Yaris collided with another vehicle, McCabe was arrested in Crumlin.
A defence lawyer told the court McCabe denied any involvement in hijacking or having a knife.
Magistrate Fiona Bagnall refused bail because of a "need to protect the public".