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out of control Man who used his finger to hijack Donegal taxi said it was like ‘Starsky & Hutch’

Saying he was concerned about the men in the taxi, he asked: 'Did they get home OK? I was a good actor back in the day'

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Letterkenny Circuit Court in Donegal

Letterkenny Circuit Court in Donegal

Letterkenny Circuit Court in Donegal

A man who used his finger to hijack a taxi said he felt like he was in an episode of 1980s American police television show Starsky & Hutch.

Alan Luukas appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court in Co Donegal where he was charged with false imprisonment and making threats to kill during the terrifying incident.

The court heard Luukas jumped into the back of the taxi in Moville after another man had flagged it down.

Once inside the taxi, Luukas (42) shouted: “I have a gun. Take me to Derry or you’ll get a bullet. I’ll blow the head off you if you don’t do as I say.”

The passenger had earlier noticed a man hanging around the streets of the coastal town but couldn’t stop him jumping in the taxi.

Luukas terrified both driver Thomas Lake and his passenger Danny Murphy as they travelled the 29km across the border to Derry.

On the way he kept telling the driver and his passenger: “You’re going to get a bullet in the head. Keep your hands up and no funny business.”

He also told them his daughter had been killed and since that he had no respect for life.

He warned the men: “I’ve murdered before and I’ll murder again.”

When they got to Derry, Luukas told them to empty their pockets and that he wanted their money, but they told him they had none.

He then told the driver to take them to Foyle Park, where his mother lived.

Just before he got out, he told them: “If I see any sign of any gardaí or police you are dead. If anyone comes looking for me I’ll send boys after you.”

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The witnesses then said it looked like he was putting something down his trousers and Mr Murphy said to the taximan: “Drive, drive, drive.”

For six years after the incident in March 2015 there was no sign of Luukas until July 2 this year when he was arrested for a public order incident in Moville.

While waiting for the Garda van he threatened officers: “I’ll have you murdered and your family murdered. I’ll have you shot by the IRA on the street. I’ll sort you out for that, you’ll be shot, I’ll get you in the long grass.”

Gardaí said they took the threat seriously.

Luukas initially denied the 2015 hijacking but later made full admissions.

He said it was “like Starsky and Hutch”, he didn’t have a firearm and just wanted to get to his mother’s house.

Saying he was concerned about the men, he asked: “Did they get home OK? I was a good actor back in the day.”

He said it had been “a crazy idea that got out of control” after drinking and that he would like to meet the victims to tell them how sorry he was.

Luukas’s barrister said her client had no links to paramilitaries, had never seen a real gun in his life and had mental health issues.

He has 32 convictions in the North for a range of incidents, including arson, burglary, assaulting police and drink-driving.

Judge John Aylmer said this was an extremely serious case deserving of a custodial sentence. He said it would be in Luukas’s interests to get a full psychiatric report and adjourned sentencing until next month.

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