herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Boy led gardai on high speed chase and crashed

A 16-YEAR-OLD repeat offender who crashed a stolen car after leading gardai on a high speed pursuit was vulnerable to suggestion from others, a court has heard.

The teenage boy pleaded guilty at the Children's Court to taking the car and three counts of dangerous driving which occurred in the Kilbarrack area in north Dublin, on August 14.

Garda Kevin Phelan said that the teen, who was spotted driving the stolen car in an industrial estate, "did a handbrake turn into a lamp post and drove off at high speed."

He left a trail of sparks when he raced the car over a speed ramp and then "drove onto a footpath and green area".

The car came to a halt when he crashed into bollards and he fled on foot. The court heard that he had 16 prior criminal convictions which included motor theft, criminal damage and handling stolen property.

Judge Elizabeth MacGrath noted that the boy had completed a three-month custodial sentence last week.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble said the teen has been cared for by family members since he was an infant. The boy's mother is deceased and his father is a drug addict.

The teenager had not been the person who initially stole the car but had taken it after it had been brought to a notorious spot for joyriders. The boy admitted he had been the driver of that car when he was later questioned for other offences.

Mr Noble said that psychiatric assessments of the boy found that he had "learning and language difficulties." The teen was also found to be "at risk" and was "vulnerable to suggestion in terms of others suggesting to do something that would not be in his interest to do."

Mr Noble said that the boy had been getting help from social services and had been put into of high support care facilities previously.

The solicitor said that the teen did not want to go back into custody and was seeking a place on a training course.

Judge MacGrath said education or training was vital for the teenager and adjourned sentencing until next month for a probation report to be furnished to the court. The boy, who was accompanied to his case by a grandparent, was remanded on continuing bail.

hnews@herald.ie

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