Wednesday 27 March 2019

Teen with 48 prior convictions tried to ram gardai and later escaped from detention centre, court told

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Tom Tuite

A REPEAT teen offender who tried to ram armed gardai with a stolen car during a stand off in Dublin has been spared extra time in custody.

The 17-year-old boy was already serving a two and a half year sentence for two violent shop raids.

He had 48 prior convictions when he pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court to another 16 charges.

Most of which were connected to the attempt to ram gardai.

He was given a four-year road ban and sentences ranging from three to nine months, to run concurrently to his existing detention term.

A Garda armed support unit was sent to help catch the teenager who twice tried to ram officers with a stolen car during a stand-off in Sandyford on October 10, 2017.

Garda Stephen Farrelly told Judge Brendan Toale that at one point gardai asked the teen driver to get out of the car but he refused and was arrested after he crashed onto a footpath.

The car had been stolen earlier from a woman’s home in Leopardstown.

This incident generated 11 charges including motor theft and six counts of dangerous driving as well as to criminal damage to two cars.

The next set of five charges were for burglary, trespassing, having implements for use in theft, criminal damage and theft.

They stemmed from his prowling in Rathmines and Harold’s Cross in Dublin on the night of January 25, 2018 and the early hours of the following morning.

Gardai found a car’s window broken at Grove Villas and were given a description of the teen who had a cut right hand. A speaker and a small amount of cash were missing from the car.

The boy, who was carrying a screwdriver, was seen fleeing the garden of a house at Mount Drummond Avenue, at 3.20am and just over an hour later he broke into a neighbour’s home.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, snatched a phone on September , 2017.

The court heard how on May 1, 2018 the teenager, then in custody on remand, had been brought from the Oberstown Detention Centre to Beaumont Hospital for treatment.

He went to the toilet and smashed a window and made good his escape. However, Garda Farrelly spotted him later that day in the city-centre and caught him.

The boy, who has a history of drug abuse, was once described by another judge as a “a risk to the public at large” .

His 48 prior convictions included thefts, criminal damage, assault, burglary robbery, motor theft, a weapons offence, attempted robbery and escape from custody.

In November 2018 he received a sentence of two years and six months.

Defence solicitor Brian Keenan pleaded with Judge Toale not to add to the boy’s existing term in custody.

He said the teen was under the influence of intoxicants at the time of his offences and had pleaded guilty.

The solicitor said the boy “has a serious issue with alcohol and drug abuse”. A psychiatric report was handed in to court.

Mr Keenan said the teen’s offending began when he was aged 14 after he began taking drugs.

A report on his mental health said he was a guarded adolescent and used drugs to mask anxiety but this had a numbing effect on emotional responding, the solicitor said.

The boy had been affected by parental separation and lacked a paternal figure which had a negative impact.

He was also found to have cognitive limitations and difficulties with “consequential thinking”.

Mr Keenan said the boy was found to have used drugs “to regulate negative emotions but that exacerbated his problems and he found himself involved in crime to fund his drug problem”.

He said the teenager is willing to accept assistance for his problem in custody.

His upset mother was not allowed hug him in court after detention centre staff objected citing a previous experience.

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