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Teen's 100kph rush-hour bid to lose gardai

A DUBLIN youth led gardai on a five-minute pursuit in which he drove in excess of 100kph in rush-hour traffic, the Dublin Children's Court heard yesterday.

Judge John O'Connor told the 17-year-old boy that it was a miracle he had not killed or injured himself and others as a result of his behaviour and warned him he could get a custodial sentence.

The court heard the youth, who cannot be named because he is a minor, reached speeds of 100kph in heavy traffic in north-inner city Dublin on the evening of January 30 last.

The five-minute chase led to him being prosecuted on 10 counts of dangerous driving as well as other charges for not having a licence or insurance.

Garda Joseph Gavin told Judge O'Connor the teenager was spotted driving in a flats complex and failed to stop when signalled. Gardai were aware he did not have a driving licence and followed him onto to Poplar Row where the youth broke a red light. At one point the teenager drove against the flow of traffic, "in contravention of a one-way system".

"Two pedestrians had to take avoidance action," said Gda Gavin, adding that the boy "nearly clipped" a house on Stoney Road.

Gda Gavin handed in to court a map of the boy's route and he estimated that at East Wall Road, the teenager was doing 100kph.


He also said that at one stage he "appeared to be going straight before suddenly making a sharp left-hand turn with no consideration for other road users on the inside".

At the North Strand Road the youth was "undertaking and overtaking vehicles at high speed" and was driving in excess of 100kph on Northbrook Avenue, Dublin 3.

After about five minutes, the boy pulled in and was arrested.

The court heard he had 11 prior criminal convictions, imposed in 2011 and early 2013, for public order, motoring and assault charges.

Defence solicitor Michelle Finan said that the boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother, had stayed out of trouble for a significant period time; he had panicked when he saw gardai and "it got out of control".

He had significant difficulties with anger-management, had previously spent time in a detention centre and the HSE had been involved with his family, the lawyer said.

Judge O'Connor adjourned sentencing until January when a probation report is to be furnished to the court.

The teen's bail conditions state he must not drive any vehicle; he also has stay off drugs and obey a 10pm to 8am curfew.

"If you do not get a good report, you are finished," the judge said.