Carjacker gets 14 years for imprisoning women in boot

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The Independent Online

A carjacker who imprisoned two women in the boots of their vehicles and robbed four others at knifepoint was jailed for 14 years yesterday.

David Smith, 24, forced one victim, a doctor, into her car boot for 45 minutes while he drove her to a cash machine and withdrew £200. Smith, from Braunstone, Leicester, picked on lone women in car parks and threatened to kill several of his victims if they told police. In one attack he punched a woman in the face.

Smith was sentenced to 14 years at Leicester Crown Court for his six-week reign of terror between July and September last year. He admitted three kidnaps, two false imprisonments and one robbery.

Jane Johnson, 60, was sitting in her car in Braunstone, Leicester, when Smith got in beside her with a knife and shouted: "Get out of the car. Don't make a fuss or I will kill you." He forced her out and drove away. The vehicle was abandoned.

In the second attack, Smith followed Catherine Parnell, 34, out of a Safeway supermarket in Leicester and waited until she was in her car. He opened the door, ordered her to move to the passenger seat, pointed a 9-inch blade at her throat and warned: "If you scream I will stab you." He took £50 from a cash machine on Ms Parnell's card, forced her from the car and drove away.

In another incident, Smith walked into the office of Emma Watson, 30, a clerk at a firm of solicitors who had represented Smith for six years, demanded £250 and threatened to stab her. She persuaded him to leave empty-handed.

Smith's fourth victim, Dr Tania Nolan, 36, from Manchester, was visiting Leicester Royal Infirmary when Smith got into her car. He shouted: "Get out of this place. Your car is not worth your life", and made her drive away. He forced her to climb into the boot and drove her to a petrol station. He took £200 from a cash machine on her card but Dr Nolan escaped when Smith stopped to visit an ex-girlfriend.

At Watford Gap service station on the M1, Smith forced Lindsay Ailing, 21, into the car boot. As he drew £200 from a cash machine on her card, she managed to escape.

The last victim, Win Shoebridge, 60, tried to grab the knife as Smith opened her car door. He hit her twice, forcing her to flee, and he drove away.

Passing sentence, Judge Bray said: "These offences involved careful targeting of women who were alone and vulnerable. One can only imagine the terror caused."