Tuesday 12 December 2017

Teen detained after near crash with garda car

Tom Tuite

A DUBLIN teenager, who refused to let gardai test him for drink-driving after he almost crashed into a patrol car, has been detained for five months.

The 16-year-old, whose mother once “nailed her windows closed” in a bid to keep him indoors, was convicted at the Children's Court of 12 motoring offences in connection with the near collision, at Kennelsfort Road, in Palmerstown in west Co. Dublin, on July 13 last year.

In April, he was given a two-month suspended sentence and a four-year road ban for driving without insurance. Taking into consideration were charges including not having a licence, non display of an insurance disc and not displaying a road tax disc.

His sentencing for careless driving and failing to let himself be tested for driving under the influence of an intoxicant had been adjourned until today.

The teen chewed gum intently during the hearing but did not want to address the court. His solicitor Adrian Lennon said the boy “has decided that he has a destiny that is on the negative side”.

The solicitor also said the teen wanted the court to “get on with it”.

Judge Ann Ryan described a probation report on him as “dreadful”, the teenager had not accepted help offered to him and she said she was not going to waste people's time.

It was obvious that he did not want to get help, the judge also said to the boy who declined to answer and continued chewing gum.

The judge detained the boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, for five months and ordered that he was to be on post-release probation supervision for five months following his release.

The boy, earlier described by his mother as “always a bit wild”, had been given a three-year suspended sentence in recent months for possessing drugs worth more than €13,000.

He had a total of 16 prior criminal convictions which also included criminal damage, motor theft, being intoxicated in public and driving offences, the court also heard.

Garda Claire Higgins had told the court that the teenager had been driving a car which had been reported stolen. He pulled out in front of her patrol car and “I had to brake to avoid a collision with this vehicle”.

When the boy, who had two back seat passengers, was pulled over, gardai saw empty beer bottles “strewn all over the car”.

The teen stank of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet and when brought to a garda station he refused to give a blood or urine sample to test him for drink-driving.

Defence solicitor Adrian Lennon said the teenager was not very communicative. In his earlier serious drugs case, it had emerged that the boy was “used” as a “transporter”.

His mother had to resort to locking him into their house to prevent him from going out, the solicitor also told the court in a plea for leniency.

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