Sunday 25 February 2018

ADHD teen faces trial over driving rampage

Tom Tuite

A YOUTH diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is to face Circuit Court trial over a driving rampage in north Dublin.

The boy, aged 17, has been charged with motor theft and dangerous driving in connection with the high speed pursuit, on March 2 last.

Garda Mark Leonard told the Children's Court it would be alleged that on March 2 last, the teenager stole a Nissan Micra in Belmayne, north Dublin. He was spotted on the N32 when gardai tried to get him to stop.

However, he went around a patrol car and kept driving dangerously at “considerable speed”. At one stage he allegedly drove in the middle of a road forcing other vehicles to swerve out of his way to avoid collision.

It was alleged that the boy then drove on the wrong side of a road to overtake other cars while he was rounding a corner. “If there was any on-coming vehicles, there would have been a collision,” Gda Leonard said.

“He was engaging in handbrake turns around corners,” the garda alleged adding that it had been not been possible to keep up with the boy.

A little while later, Gardai received more reports of the boy driving dangerously in Darndale, in north Dublin, where he was arrested.

Defence solicitor John Bermingham asked Judge Ann Ryan to accept jurisdiction and let the boy be tried in the juvenile court.

He said the boy, who cannot be identified because he is a juvenile, had been diagnosed with ADHD when he was aged 11. He submitted that a trait of ADHD was to “act without thinking” and a educational report on the boy was furnished to the judge.

However, Judge Ryan refused jurisdiction and held that the case should be sent to the Circuit Court, which has wider sentencing powers.

The boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, has not yet indicated how he will plead to the charges. He was remanded on bail to appear again at the Children's Court on July 19 next, when he is to be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial.

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