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High adrenaline sports 'help' for boy racer (16)

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy, who crashed a stolen car after leading gardai on a traffic chase, is taking part in a programme of "high adrenaline" sports to divert him from crime.

The teenager had pleaded guilty earlier at the Children's Court to taking the car and three counts of dangerous driving which occurred in the Kilbarrack area in north Dublin, on August 14 last year.

His case resumed yesterday and Judge Elizabeth MacGrath heard that he had recently been given a suspended six-month sentence for other crimes.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble said that the teenager, who is in care but living with his grandparents, was getting assistance from the HSE.

He is being supervised by a social worker and a care worker has also been appointed to work with the teen, the court heard.



SPARKS

"He has the benefit of a care worker, his involvement is to bring him out on activities, particularly high adrenaline sports," Mr Noble said.

Mr Noble said the boy had engaged well and it was hoped this would deter the teen from being involved in motoring offences.

The teenager said he would co-operate with the Probation and Welfare Service. Judge MacGrath adjourned sentencing the boy until October for a probation report.

Earlier, Garda Kevin Phelan had said the teen was spotted driving the stolen car in an industrial estate, "did a handbrake turn into a lamp post and drove off at high speed".

He left a trail of sparks when he raced over a speed ramp and "drove onto a footpath and green area". He crashed into bollards and fled on foot.



risk

The court heard that he had 16 prior criminal convictions which included motor theft, criminal damage and handling stolen property.

The boy had served completed a three-month custodial earlier this year and had previously been placed in a secure care unit.

The teen has been cared for by extended family members since he was an infant. His mother is dead and his father is a recovering drug addict.

Psychiatric assessments found he had "learning and language difficulties" and problems stemming from "negative social behaviour".

He was also found to be "at risk" and "vulnerable to suggestion from others suggesting to do something that would not be in his interest to do".

hnews@herald.ie


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