Carjack kidnapper jailed for 15 years

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The Independent Online

A man who committed a series of carjackings in which he threatened drivers with a knife and an apparently infected syringe was jailed for 15 years yesterday.

Ian McEwan, 39, of Newton Abbot, Devon, was sentenced at Taunton Crown Court after pleading guilty to kidnap, robbery, assault, theft and arson.

Judge Graham Hume Jones told him: "Over a period of two weeks during April last year you embarked on a course of conduct which must have caused total terror to a number of people who were going about their own business or conducting their lives in their normal way."

In one attack, McEwan forced Michelle Lawson, a pregnant taxi driver, to take him from Warminster to Poole, Dorset, holding to her neck a syringe filled with what he said was a deadly substance.

In another incident, Mc-Ewan, a former soldier, climbed into a couple's car as they waited at traffic lights at a motorway junction. He threatened the husband with a syringe he claimed was infected with Aids and said he could snap the woman's neck.

Martin Picton, for the prosecution, said McEwan had launched sustained, terrifying attacks and posed a considerable risk to the public.

Mark Whitehall, in mitigation, said McEwan was deeply remorseful for what he had done and could not fully explain it, although he had been depressed and even suicidal in the time leading up to the attacks.