Wednesday 13 December 2017

Teen who drove into taxi carrying two passengers during drunken hit-and-run escapes jail sentence


By Tom Tuite

A YOUTH, who ploughed his mother's car into a taxi carrying two passengers during a drunken hit-and-run, has been ordered to carry out 100 hours' community service.

The 17-year-old was spared jail after he pleaded guilty to charges of drink driving, hit-and-run, criminal damage and not having a licence or motor insurance in connection with a crash in north Co. Dublin, on a date in October last year.

Garda Francis Curley told Judge John O'Connor at the Dublin Children's Court that two taxis had been travelling southbound on the R132 – the first cab second was carrying two passengers while the second just had its driver.

The youth drove out from a lane onto the road and lost control of the car he was driving, which belonged to his mother, and crashed into the first taxi “that had two passengers”.

The car driven by the boy “bounced off” the that taxi and then hit the second one, the juvenile court was told.

Judge O'Connor heard that he caused extensive damage to the taxi carrying passengers but no injuries were caused and the teen “fled the scene”. The taxi was left a “write off” as a result of the collision.

Gardai became aware that the boy had taken his mother's car and when he was arrested a short while later he admitted that he had been the driver.

The court heard that he was over the drink drive limit but “never once denied it” and had expressed remorse from the outset. When arrested he began crying, repeatedly apologised and “his main priority was the health and welfare of the people involved in the crash”.

The court heard that the teenager has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but had not been taking his medication, at the time of the incident.

The boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, also pleaded guilty to an assaulting a shop employee in September last year. The court was told he had felt aggrieved that he had been blamed for something he had not done and and he went behind the shop counter and had a scuffle with the staff member who fell to the ground and suffered slight bruising to his wrists.

The court heard that the teen's family had to battle to get him appropriate education and since he got a job there has been a huge improvement in his behaviour. He had previously been involved in sports but that came to an end due to drug use.

The youth also pleaded guilty to a public order charge for being intoxicated in public on a date last year. Gardai found him barely able to stand in the middle of a road and he had a “cannabis grinder” in his pocket.

The teenager had no prior criminal convictions and has not come to further garda attention and Judge O'Connor heard that a probation report had found him suitable for community service.

Judge O'Connor spared the teenager a driving ban after noting that he needed a licence and it was his first motoring offence. However, he ordered the boy to carry out 100 hours' community service recommended by the probation report otherwise he will be detained for six months.

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