herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

River crash teen attacked OAP just hours after his bail

The crash scene at Celbridge
The crash scene at Celbridge

A teenager who crashed a stolen car into the River Liffey at Celbridge while being chased from a burglary scene by gardai has been given one year's detention.

The court heard the 17-year-old was arrested after being taken from the water but later released on bail because there was no suitable place for him to stay. Within 48 hours, he had assaulted a man in his 80s, knocking him to the ground as he stole the man's car.

The teenager, who cannot be identified as he is a minor, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary, dangerous driving and criminal damage to a bridge on April 13, 2016.

He further pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a car, assault and driving without a licence or insurance on April 15, 2016.

The teen has 11 previous convictions including public order offences, criminal damage, assault and possession of stolen property.

Judge Pauline Codd noted that a probation report outlined that, although the defendant had initially indicated he was willing to engage with the probation services, he later said he had no interest in doing so and his only motivation was a possible reduction in the sentence.

The accused told his defence counsel, Anne Marie Lawlor, he was in "real bad humour" when he met the probation officer who prepared the report. He said he had been on 23-hour lock-up for the two days prior to the meeting and was not in the mood for answering questions.

He said he was now drug-free and was willing to go to a drug counsellor or give urine samples. "Whatever it takes," he told the judge.

Intervention

He told Judge Codd he would fully co-operate and was willing to address his anger issues.

Ms Lawlor told the court the teen has ADHD and needs intervention and assistance in his life. She said he was remorseful for what happened to the elderly man.

The judge said that in the first offence it was lucky neither himself nor a member of the public was seriously injured. In the second, he had preyed on an easy target but she noted his guilty plea and expressions of remorse. She imposed a three-year sentence but suspended the final two years.

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