Saturday 21 April 2018

Teen accused of stealing 4X4 and leading gardai on high speed chase through Dun Laoighaire

By Tom Tuite

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy accused of stealing a 4X4 in connection with a pursuit through rush-hour traffic from Dun Laoghaire to Powerscourt Waterfall in Co. Wicklow was tracked by a Garda helicopter, a court has heard.

The teenager appeared at the Dublin Children's Court today where he faced a charge for stealing a Toyota Landcruiser and 23 counts of dangerous driving in connection with a pursuit which began at about 4.30 last Friday and lasted 14 minutes from beginning to end.

Garda Eoin McGrath told Judge John O'Connor that there was an objection to bail due to the seriousness of the incident. A Landcruiser was stolen at the West Pier area car park in Dun Laoghaire, in south Co. Dublin and pursued by garda cars as well as the Air Support Unit, he said.

Gda McGrath said it would be alleged that at one point the boy lost control of the stolen vehicle when he drove into a picnic area.

He also overtook other cars on blind bends and at locations where there were continuous white lines. At one point he drove onto a footpath as he was approaching a junction that had been blocked and when he came out the other side he would not have been able to see if pedestrians or other vehicles were coming, the court was told.

The drive took just 14 minutes and the teen made his way to the M50 where he drove along the hard shoulder and headed to the Powerscourt Waterfall in Co. Wicklow, it has been alleged.

However, he was arrested after he abandoned the stolen Landcruiser and tried to make off on foot, the court was told.

Gda McGrath also said that the boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, made admissions on his arrest.

Defence counsel Aoife McNickle asked the judge to grant bail and an address with a relative of the boy for a residency condition was proposed. She also asked the court to note that the teenager's compliance with the garda following his arrest.

Judge O'Connor granted bail to the teenager on condition that he resided at the address given, obeyed a 9pm to 8am curfew, signs on at a garda station three times a week, stays away from one of his own family members and gives the garda his phone number on which he is to be contactable at all times.

Directions from the DPP have to be obtained to determine if he should face trial in the Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers. The boy took up bail and was remanded to face his next hearing on November 12 at Dun Laoghaire District Court's sitting for juveniles.

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