‘Customer told taxi dispatcher: I am like ISIS – I will behead you’

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A knife-wielding customer allegedly threatened to subject a taxi dispatcher to an ISIS-style beheading, the High Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutors claimed the man has been left in “extreme fear” after being targeted by 33-year-old Michael Coyle on three separate occasions.

Coyle, of Virginia Court in the Gobnascale area of Derry, is charged with threats to kill, possession of a bladed article and an offensive weapon in public, and intimidating a witness.

During a failed application for bail it was alleged that he first threatened the taxi worker with a knife and spanner on Christmas Day.

Prosecution counsel said the defendant went into a depot close to his home, produced the blade and started acting aggressively towards him.

“He said, ‘I will slice you, I’m just like ISIS, I will behead you’,” the barrister claimed.

Coyle then allegedly took out the spanner and told the man he was going to “smash” and beat him with it.

Two days later the accused phoned the depot to apologise and ask if the dispatcher was going to retract his statement, the court was told.

“He then made threats to the complainant to cut off his head in front of everyone,” the barrister added.

Further threats were issued along with what the complainant believed was an attempt to get him to drop the case, the court heard.

The accused denies making threats.

He also claimed to have little memory of the incidents because he had been drinking.