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Children leapt for lives from speeding teen

A YOUTH who nearly ran over a group of children while speeding in his mother's car has been remanded on bail pending sentence.

"You are lucky that you are not before the court on a charge of dangerous driving causing death," said Judge Catherine Staines as she adjourned the case at Dublin Children's Court.

The 17-year-old pleaded guilty yesterday to dangerous driving and being uninsured in Sandyford, south Dublin, on April 10.

Garda John Healy told Judge Staines he had been travelling with colleagues when a car driven by the teen came to their attention after it manoeuvred into the middle of a road.

He was pursued by the gardai and drove into housing estates and "tried to take evasive action". He said the teenager sped up on a road where three pedestrians crossing it had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

The boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, continued driving despite being pursued by a garda car which had activated its lights and sirens.

"Six children were playing on the side of the road, they jumped on to the green," he said.


Defence solicitor Orla Farrell told the court her client had been insured to drive another car and mistakenly thought he could use his mother's too. She said the 17-year-old's father had died due to drink-related problems and the boy quit school at the age of 15.

She said that since then he had found work and did not have any drink or drug problems. Ms Farrell also said the teenager was due to face sentencing in October over another matter. She asked for this case to be adjourned until the same date.

"How would you feel if a child had died as a result of your driving," the judge asked the boy, who responded "bad".

The teen, who had two prior convictions but none for motoring offences, also said he realised now how dangerous his driving had been.

On the charge of not being insured, Judge Staines banned him from driving for one year and imposed a €200 fine.

She adjourned sentencing him on the dangerous driving charge until October so the court could see a probation report before finalising the case.