Repeat teenage offender with 66 criminal convictions gets 10-year road ban
A DUBLIN youth with mental health problems and 66 criminal convictions has been given a ten-year road ban and a five-month sentence for car crimes committed after he was already banned from driving.
The Children's Court had heard that on July 20 last year in Lucan, Dublin, the 17-year-old boy was spotted in the driver's seat of a '99 reg car. He exited and “attempted to run, he had hot-wired the car and the engine was running”.
The repeat offender pleaded guilty to driving without a licence, or insurance and while being the subject of a road ban.
A probation report had been furnished to the court and Judge Ann Ryan banned the boy from driving for another ten years and gave him a five-month sentence.
The youth had also entered a guilty plea to unlawfully getting into a car without its owner's consent, in July last year at Wheatfield Road, west Dublin.
The teenager was already serving a term, which expires next January, for earlier crimes.
The repeat offender had 66 criminal convictions which Garda Neil McGrath had broken down into categories stating that 25 of them were for various offences under the Road Traffic Act, including dangerous driving and several counts of driving without insurance.
There were seven for motor theft, one for interfering with a vehicle, seven for theft, six for criminal damage, six for trespassing offences, two for assault, six under the Public Order Act, one for possessing a weapon, and one for violent behaviour in a Garda station.
He was given a 13-month sentence “on a large number of offences” earlier this year and is expected to be released from custody in January 2014, the juvenile court heard.
Last year, he had been disqualified from driving twice, for periods of ten and six years and in 2011 he was give a six-year road ban.
Defence solicitor Gareth Noble had said that “from a very early age he has been in and out of a number of institutions” as a result of both criminal justice and child welfare court proceedings.
At one point the High Court ordered that he was to be detained in high support facility “for his care needs”.
The lawyer said the youth, who was accompanied to his hearing by his father, presented with “huge vulnerabilities” and had mental health difficulties – while in custody he has been placed on “protection” and the subject of a number of “psychological interventions”.
Since going into in custody the boy has been going to classes to prepare him for the Junior Certificate to “better himself”.
He has also sustained injuries in custody and is bringing a High Court action against the detention of minors at St Patrick's Institution detention centre, which is set to be closed down over the next six months following a damning report on conditions there.