Wednesday 7 December 2016

Learner driver was speeding when he hit and killed schoolboy (16), court hears

Fiona Ferguson

Published 14/10/2016 | 02:30

Gareth Jones (21) leaving the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday. Photo: Collins
Gareth Jones (21) leaving the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday. Photo: Collins

A 21-year-old unaccompanied learner driver who was speeding when he hit and killed a teenager will be sentenced next week.

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Gareth Jones swerved to avoid three of the boy's friends as they crossed the road but hit Paul McCormack (16) who had changed direction to try to get back to the path.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard there was a fault with the ABS braking system in his Toyota Avensis but that Jones was unaware of this.

Jones, of Mellowes Park, Finglas, Dublin, pleaded guilty to careless driving causing the death of Paul McCormack at Tolka Valley Road, Finglas, on June 26, 2015.

The court heard that Jones told gardaí he was doing 70kmh to 80kmh in the area, which had a speed limit of 50kmh.

After the collision Jones remained at the scene, accepted responsibility and called an ambulance.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned sentencing until October 20 to allow her to consider the case.

Garda Aidan McHugh told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that Paul McCormack and three of his friends were crossing the road towards Tolka Valley Park when they saw a car coming from the left which looked to be "ages away".

One of the group said the car was driving "flat out". Paul changed direction and went back towards the other side of the road and was hit by the car.

Paul was taken to the Mater Hospital where he was pronounced dead due to catastrophic brain injuries.

Michael Bowman SC, defending, said Jones was a person of good character.

Irish Independent

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