Man who hijacked Donegal taxi using only his finger is jailed

Alan Luukas said he felt he was in ‘Starsky and Hutch’ when he forced driver to cross Border

A man who hi-jacked a taxi using only his finger has been jailed for two and a half years.

Alan Luukas said he felt like he was in an episode of 1980s police television show 'Starsky and Hutch' when he forced the driver to cross the Border from Donegal to Derry.

Luukas (43) appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court where he was charged with false imprisonment and making threats to kill during the terrifying incident.

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

Once inside the taxi, Luukas 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 a I say.”

Luukas terrified both the driver Mr Thomas Lake and also his passenger Danny Murphy as they traveled the 18 miles across the Border to Derry.

Along 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.”

Taxi-driver Mr Lake said he met a Garda patrol car at Muff and considered flashing his lights at him but didn’t.

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

The witnesses then said it looked like he was putting something down his trousers and Danny Murphy said to the taximan “Drive, drive, drive.” They added that although they didn’t actually see a gun they were in fear all the time.

The victims got home and decided to sleep on the incident but reported it to gardaí the following day, March 5th, 2015, for fear Luukas would strike again.

For six years there was no sign of Luukas despite attempts by gardaí to contact him across the Border in Derry.

Then on July 2nd of last year, he was arrested following a public order incident, again in Moville. A Garda at the scene remembered Luukas, who has a distinctive scar above his eye.

Barrister Fiona Crawford said her client suffered from mental health issues and has no connections whatever with any paramilitary organisation and had never actually seen a real gun in his life.

“As he said himself it was gaga, madcap and bizarre and he would like to apologise from the bottom of his heart for the kidnapping,” she added.

Passing sentence, Judge John Aylmer said the hijacking was “a most serious offence” saying it was a terrifying experience of the two men involved.