herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Teenager is accused of unlawfully driving his own mother's car

Newton Lawani appearing at Blanchardstown District Court
Newton Lawani appearing at Blanchardstown District Court

A teenage student has appeared in court accused of driving his own mother's car without her permission.

Newton Lawani (19) had the case against him adjourned after Blanchardstown District Court heard he was accused of using a vehicle without the owner's permission, but the alleged owner was his mother.

Judge David McHugh remanded Mr Lawani on continuing bail when he appeared in court on the charge.

Mr Lawani, with an address at Foxborough Road, Lucan, is charged with unlawful use of a vehicle, an 04D-registered car, without the consent of the owner.

The owner is his mother, Atinuke Lawani.

The charge alleges that the offence may also have been committed "with or without other lawful authority".

The incident is alleged to have happened at Balgaddy Road, also in Lucan, on May 8 last.

The accused is further charged with driving without insurance at the same place and on the same date.

Tougher

Garda Sergeant Mary Doherty told Judge McHugh the DPP is directing summary trial of the case.

This means it can be dealt with at district court level, instead of being sent forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which has tougher potential sentencing powers on conviction.

Asked by the judge for more information on the unlawful use charge, the sergeant replied: "It was his mother's car."

Evidence of the defendant's arrest, charge and caution had been given to the court previously.

After hearing an outline of the allegation, Judge McHugh said he was accepting jurisdiction to allow the case remain in the district court.

Free legal aid was granted to the defendant after the court heard he was not working and there was no garda objection.

The alleged offences are contrary to Sections 112 and 56 of the Road Traffic Act.

No more details of the case have been given in evidence yet, and the defendant has not yet indicated how he intends to plead to the charges against him.

He did not address the court during the brief hearing.

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