‘Hi-jacker’ offered victim a drink before stealing vehicle - court told

Car was 'hi-jacked' at Ballymena train station's park'n'ride facility - court told
Car was 'hi-jacked' at Ballymena train station's park'n'ride facility - court told

A man who allegedly hijacked a car at a park and ride facility beside Ballymena Railway Station “appeared to take pity” on the victim and offered him a drink before stealing the vehicle, a court heard on Monday.

Anthony Norman Thomas Craig (23), of Woodgreen Park in Shankbridge, was remanded into custody on a number of charges at Coleraine Magistrates Court.

A police officer said it was alleged Craig went to Curley’s off-licence in Ballymena and stole Jagermeister, Jack Daniels, wine and cigarettes.

A short time later a man came off a train and as he was getting into his car - a Peugeot 206 - in the park and ride facility, off Princes Street, he was confronted by a man who put a clenched fist to his face and said: “Either you drive me to Antrim or I will take the car”.

The victim felt frightened and felt he was going to be hit.

The police officer said when the “quite young and naive” victim was asked where he lived he showed his driving licence.

At that stage the hijacker told the car owner if he contacted police he would go to his house with a gun and “get him”.

The officer said the man “appeared to take pity” on the victim and offered him a drink before driving off.

The car was later located in Antrim and during a search of Craig’s home a key which was able to open the hijacked car was found, said the policeman.

Craig is charged with hijacking; driving whilst disqualified; absence of insurance; failing to stop for police at Fountain Hill in Antrim; theft of alcohol and cigarettes and making a threat to kill the car owner.

Defence solicitor Ciaran Shiels said Craig denied the offences saying he had been at home and was disputing CCTV at Curleys or that he was the person who stole the car.

Craig was in breach of bail for previous offences which banned him from entering Antrim and involving him wearing an electronic tag.

Refusing bail, District Judge Liam McNally said the CCTV put him in the off-licence and he was in possession of keys which fitted in the stolen car. Craig was remanded in custody until January.