Tuesday 12 November 2019

Teenager fast-tracked onto course after being found guilty of fare dodging

Tom Tuite

A DUBLIN youth got fast-tracked onto a training course after he was found guilty of committing an offence, a court heard today.

The 17-year-old boy had been found guilty at the Children's Court earlier this year of making off without paying a €200 fare to a taxi driver following a journey from Dublin to a town in Kildare and back again, in November last year.

It was alleged that after the round-trip he fled without paying the driver and was subsequently prosecuted for theft.

His case had been adjourned until today when a probation report was furnished to the court.

Judge Michael Walsh heard that the boy had co-operated with the Probation Service but still maintained he was innocent.

The boy's mother told the court that her son never causes any trouble. The teen is now taking part in a training course to get early school leavers back into education.

The teenager told the court “I was trying to get into the course for ages, and then the Probation Service got me straight in”. The boy, who has not come to further garda attention, said he is enjoying the course and gets paid €40 a week.

The judge said a criminal conviction would have implications for the teen in the future but some compensation should be paid.

The first-time offender then handed over €100, half the amount owed, and Judge Walsh decided give him the benefit of the Probation Act, sparing him a criminal record. He told the teen that the best Christmas present he could now give his mother was to “stay out of trouble”.

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