Carjacker who threatened to shoot taxi driver jailed for four years

Carjacker who threatened to shoot taxi driver jailed for four years

A man who threatened to shoot a taxi driver in the leg with an imitation gun before seizing his taxi has been given a four year jail term at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Dylan Smith (23) of Captains Road, Crumlin, Dublin pleaded guilty to producing an imitation firearm and unlawful seizure of a vehicle at Goldenbridge Walk, Inchicore, and arson at Bernard Curtis Apartments, Bluebell, on March 26, 2014.

Garda Gary Keelan told Gareth Baker BL, prosecuting, that John Lang was sitting in his taxi on Aston Quay when Smith got in and asked to be driven to Inchicore.

Mr Lang was suspicious of him and asked if he had money before agreeing to take him. On the way, Smith said he had spent the weekend in Amsterdam “shooting guns” and told Mr Lang that “you always have to be prepared”.

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When they came to Goldenbridge Walk, Smith asked him to stop the car. Mr Lang then saw that he had what appeared to be a gun in his hand.  Smith threatened to shoot him in the leg unless he got out of the car.

Mr Lang got out and Smith climbed into the front of the car and drove off. Gardai were alerted by Mr Lang, and soon after this a garda on patrol in Ballyfermot saw the stolen taxi in traffic. Smith managed to escape despite the garda smashing the windshield with his baton.

Smith stopped the car at Bernard Curtis apartments in Bluebell and set it alight, destroying it. With the assistance of the garda helicopter he was found and apprehended shortly thereafter near Jamestown Industrial Estate.

Gda Keelan agreed with Mr Baker that Mr Lang still worked as a taxi driver but no longer felt safe doing so, and also that he now had to pay an extra €1,000 on his insurance premium.

Smith, who has 69 previous convictions, is currently serving consecutive sentences for robbery, false imprisonment and unlawful seizure of a vehicle.

Gda Keelan agreed with Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, that Smith comes from a violent background and has a problem with drink and drugs.

Mr Le Vert told Judge Gerard Hogan that Smith had become a father for the second time on the day of the incident, and was upset that he was letting his family down due to his addictions and crimes. 

He also said that Smith is drug free in prison and had been doing courses, but that he is now on protected status and therefore spent 23 hours a day in his cell.

Sentencing Smith to six years with the final two years suspended, Judge Hogan explained that he was structuring the sentence so that only one more year would be added to Smith’s prison term. He is now due for release in 2020.