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Garda car-crash teen escapes jail

A TEENAGER escaped a custodial sentence yesterday for travelling in a stolen car that crashed into a Garda Special Branch vehicle escorting former Taoiseach Brian Cowen last November.

Two detectives, who were not injured in the Dublin collision, were following the former Taoiseach's official car after a late cabinet meeting on November 18.

The 16-year-old had pleaded guilty earlier at the Dublin Children's Court to travelling as a passenger in a stolen vehicle.

Judge John O'Neill noted that a pre-sentence report had recommended placing the boy, who had no prior criminal convictions, on supervised probation.

"He is making an effort," said Judge O'Neill, as he agreed to make the order and place the boy on a three-month probation bond.

Earlier, Garda Cathal McNamara had told the court that a car had been stolen and collided with the garda vehicle at St John's Road West, in Dublin.

The stolen car was abandoned 15 minutes later following a pursuit and "a number of incidents of dangerous driving".

At the time of the incident, the boy "had a lot of drink taken".

The defence had told the court that the boy had been influenced by older people and had been very drunk on the night of the crash.

A 17-year-old west Dublin teenager who denies being the driver of the car is awaiting trial.

Irish Independent