Wednesday 23 January 2019

Boy 'crashed into Cowen's garda escort'

Accused: Teen denies joyriding

A SCHOOLBOY, who denies crashing a stolen vehicle into a Special Branch car which was escorting Taoiseach Brian Cowen, has been remanded on bail.

Two detectives, who were not injured in the collision in Dublin, were following the Taoiseach's official car as Mr Cowen was being driven home from a late Cabinet meeting on the night of November 18 last.

The 17-year-old west Dublin boy cannot be identified because he is a juvenile.

He has been charged at the Children's Court with stealing a car at St John's Road West, in Dublin 8.


He faces an additional charge for reckless endangerment of life by engaging in conduct which "created a substantial risk of death or serious harm to another".

Yesterday the case resumed at the Children's Court where Judge Bryan Smyth heard an outline of the allegations.

Garda Cathal McNamara told the court that the then 16-year-old boy stole a car and a car chase ensued which ended in Ballyfermot.

At a junction with the South Circular Road, "progress was blocked by a garda vehicle on the left and six in front and there were numerous cars coming from the left and right".

It was alleged the teenager drove at an unmarked garda BMW car "causing considerable damage to the vehicle." The court heard that nobody was injured and the boy continued driving and went on the wrong side of roundabouts three times.

"Another vehicle was very nearly involved in a collision," Garda McNamara said, adding that the stolen car was later abandoned by the driver and two other occupants.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble asked the court to consider accepting jurisdiction. He told Judge Bryan Smyth that his client denied being the driver of the stolen car.

He asked the court to note that his client was in education and had never been charged with an offence before the alleged incident.

However, jurisdiction was refused meaning the case is to be sent forward for trial to the Circuit Court, which has wider sentencing powers.

The teenager was remanded on bail to appear again next month when he is to be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial.

A 16-year-old boy, who has admitted being a passenger in the stolen car, was remanded for sentencing in April pending the preparation of a probation report.


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