Hijack victim 'had just passed test'

Published Wednesday, 23 July 2014
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The victim of a knife-point hijacking in Belfast was a young female motorist who had just passed her driving test, the city's Magistrates' Court has heard.

Hijack victim 'had just passed test'
Police arrested Steven McCabe on Monday evening. (© UTV)

Steven Conor Nicholas McCabe, 18 and 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 the same day.

After forcing his way into the vehicle, the hijacker drove the vehicle a short distance before letting the young woman out.

The vehicle was recovered on Crumlin's Main Street after hitting another car.

The court heard that McCabe was located by officers in Crumlin at around 6pm.

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 an 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 targeted as 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 crashed, McCabe was arrested in Crumlin and he subsequently "matched the description given."

A defence lawyer told the court McCabe denied any involvement in the hijacking or having a knife.

Magistrate Fiona Bagnall said: "If he is connected to the offences on the basis of fact, it is a very serious matter."

She added: "As far as I am concerned, I think there is a likelihood of re-offending and a need to protect the public. On the basis of the information I have received today, he will be remanded in custody."

Before he was led from the dock, McCabe was reminded of his right to apply for High Court bail.

He was then remanded in custody and will appear in court again, via video link, on 20 August.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
damian in twinbrook wrote (190 days ago):
Unfortunately think we all need to let go of that trust were safe in our own areas or beyond and accept that we now need to lock ourselves in to our cars and homes sad world were ya cant trust your going to be safe to the girl who got hijack good luck and be safe hope doesn’t put you off driving as its only giving in to these opportunist thieves
Lynne in South Down wrote (190 days ago):
Poor girl. When we all get our test and take to the roads we are so happy. This incident would be enough to put anyone off, but then I guess thugs don't think about anyone but themselves! Offenders of these crimes should be locked up and the key thrown away!
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