Wednesday 22 November 2017

Mystery of boy's joyride death torments grieving mum

Allison Bray and  Georgina O'Halloran

A grieving mother spoke of her torment last night after her young son died in a joyriding accident yet the driver of the stolen jeep he was in has never come forward.

Jeanette Black (43), of Eastwood, Finglas, Co Dublin said this Christmas will the second one she will have to endure without her son John Paul Black, whose body was found in a stolen Mitsubishi Pajero that crashed in a field near their home on September 10, 2009.

Gardai testifying at his inquest at the Dublin City Coroner's Court yesterday said there was no evidence that John Paul Black was the driver of the jeep.

Yet neither the driver nor any other occupants of the jeep have come forward since the accident, which she called "very frustrating".

"The guards did everything they could," she told the Irish Independent last night.

"There are people that know what happened but nobody is prepared to say anything," she said.

"It's hard to swallow that he was the only one in the car when clearly he wasn't," she said.

"I understand that the driver is petrified to say anything. Yet he'll still have to live with this the rest of his life. That's a life sentence itself," she said.

Verdict

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell also urged anyone with information to come forward after a jury of four women and two men returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

Testifying at the inquest yesterday, Mrs Black said she had just returned home from work when she received a phone call from her son's friend.

He was screaming that John Paul, or Paul as he was known, was unconscious in "the field", near their home.

Gardai were unable to establish the identity of the driver or confirm if there were other occupants in the vehicle.

"We don't have any witnesses who can tell the story of exactly what happened," Garda Graham Dillon told the inquest.

The Black family was given the name of a youth who allegedly told Paul's brother that he was driving the vehicle, the inquest heard.

But Inspector Jerry Bergin of Blanchardstown garda station said gardai had insufficient grounds to make an arrest.

Mr Black was taken to the Temple Street Children's Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later. The inquest heard that the young man was not involved in the theft of the jeep.

"I've been robbed of a son yet I don't want to see another family destroyed by this," Mrs Black said. "Had he not gone into that car that day, he'd still be alive."

Irish Independent

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