Taxi driver feared throat would be slit during terrifying car jacking
A taxi-driver who had a knife held to his neck during an attempting car-jacking told a court that he saw his life flash in front of him during the attack.
Judge Patricia Ryan jailed Sean Ducque (32) for five years after noting the serious psychological effects his attack had on the victim.
Ducque of no fixed abode pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the attempted unlawful seizure of a car on March 26, 2013 at Terrace Place, Dublin and to producing a knife during the attack.
The victim Noel Fairman told the court that he used to love his job but he hated it now. He said that during the attack he thought he might die.
“I saw my life in front of me,” he said. He told Judge Ryan that he had undergone several life saving operations over the previous years and had received stent implants for his heart.
He said during the attack he thought his heart might burst or that his throat may be slit.
Judge Ryan imposed an eight year sentence but suspended the last three years for three years on condition that he engage with the any addiction programmes run by the Probation Services.
Garda Ciaran Kavanagh told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, that Ducque and a woman had flagged down Mr Fairman's taxi around Ballymun and asked him to go into the city centre.
When the taxi arrived at the destination the fare came to €13. Mr Fairman then felt a blade being held across his neck.
The victim grabbed the knife and tried to push it away from his neck but Ducque held on to it and pushed it up against his neck.
Ducque repeatedly told the driver to give him the car keys and to let go of the knife. Mr Fairman refused and told Ducque: “It's gone wrong. Forget about it. Let go. It's not too late.”
At one point Mr Fairman saw a woman come out of a nearby house and he screamed at her to call gardaí but she walked on by, the court heard.
As a result of the continuing struggle with the knife the victim received three serious cuts to his hand. The attack ended when he managed to get the car door open and get out of the car.
Ducque and the woman then walked away but were picked up by gardaí later. The court heard Ducque's 39 previous convictions include robbery, burglary, drug dealing and a number of theft and road traffic offences.
Lawyers for Ducque said that up to 2007 he had worked as a painter and decorator but he developed a drug addiction and became homeless. His convictions arose from his poly-substance abuse, which included heroin, the court heard.
Last December Judge Ryan imposed a five year sentence with two suspended on Ducque after he admitted carrying out a robbery on Greenville Street, Dublin on April 5, 2013. He was charged with the car-jacking offence last November.