Northern Ireland news

Man 'in the IRA' jailed for attempted car hijack

A west Belfast man who tried to hijack a BMW by telling the owner "drive the car - I'm in the IRA" has been jailed.

Patrick Daniels was handed a 30-month sentence, which was divided equally between prison and licence, by Belfast Crown Court Judge, Donna McColgan QC.

From Derryveagh Drive, the 30-year old appeared via a videolink with Maghaberry and was sentenced for attempted hijacking and possessing a knife in public.

On June 4 last year, the injured party was standing in a queue outside a chemist's on the Lisburn Road when he noticed Daniels walking past.

After picking up his prescription, the injured party returned to his black BMW Z4 and had just got into the driver's seat, when Daniels jumped into the passenger's seat.

Daniels shouted "drive this car out to the west" and when the owner told him to get out, Daniels then said "drive the car - I'm in the IRA."

At this point, the now-frightened owner got out of his car and summoned the help of the chemist's delivery driver who was parked nearby.

Seeing Daniels was struggling to operate the gearbox, the delivered driver got Daniels in a headlock and dragged him out of the BMW.

A struggle ensued during which Daniels sustained a bloody nose, and the delivery driver restrained Daniels on the ground.

A crowd started to gather at the scene, and whilst on the ground Daniels shouted "I have a knife. Let me go."

The BMW owner saw a knife in his hand, the delivery driver heard the comment and let Daniels go. He was later apprehended and arrested.

As she sentenced Daniels, Judge McColgan said she had taken into account his personal circumstances which included a steady history of employment and addiction issues.

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