Cash-strapped addict hijacked taxi

A drug addict who robbed a taxi driver of his car because he wanted money for snow blow has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Carl McGuiness, aged 21, later told gardaí he and his co-accused needed cash for drugs and thought “we’ll hijack a taxi” before hailing Harry Boland on Glasnevin Avenue in Dublin. The men told the driver they wanted to go to a dog sanctuary in Finglas and McGuiness said he would direct him.

The victim later told gardaí he was not suspicious of his passengers in any way. Mr Boland has since given up working as a taxi driver.

McGuiness, of Beneavin Rd, Finglas East, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery, damaging a car, and leaving the scene of an accident on August 24, 2015. He has 48 previous convictions.

Garda Gary Molloy told Dean Kelly, prosecuting, that when they reached their destination, McGuiness’s accomplice, who was the back seat passenger, grabbed Mr Boland around the neck.

McGuiness then got out of the car and threatened the victim with a syringe while asking him if he wanted HIV. He handed over his phone and he was released.

When Mr Boland got out of the car, McGuiness got into the driver’s seat and sped off.

He crashed into a woman’s car at a junction in Blanchardstown sending her vehicle onto a footpath. She had her eight-year-old son and sister in the car.

McGuiness drove away but was arrested a short time later at Seville Place in Dublin’s IFSC when Gda Molloy recognised the car from a description that had gone out over the garda radio.

Judge Greally suspended the final 18 months of the four-year sentence.

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