Community service for for teen caught hot-wiring a stolen car


A REPEAT teen offender has been ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service work after he was caught hot-wiring a stolen car.

The north Dublin boy, 17, was told by Judge John O'Connor that he faces an eight month sentence if he does not do the work assigned to him.

The youth, who has 28 previous criminal convictions, pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to unlawfully using a stolen car and possessing stolen tools on October 26 last.

“If you do not do the community service, you are going in,” he warned the youth who remained silent during the sentence hearing today.

Garda Stephen Hughes told Judge O'Connor he received a report of a youth breaking into a car in Balbriggan, Co.Dublin. He found the teenager in the driver's seat “trying to hot-wire the vehicle”.

Ignition cables were pulled out and there were a number of tools in the vehicle.

Gda Hughes said the youth claimed he had purchased the vehicle but could provide no reasonable explanation for having the tools or for not having car keys.

Counsel defending said the tools were stolen from a shed and the car was stolen the previous day and he asked the judge to note that the teenager had made admissions.

Judge O'Connor said he noted that the boy was aged 16 at the time but he said the youth had a substantial record with prior convictions for theft offences.

He said the teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother, has reached the threshold for custody. He went on to say that if the youth were an adult, he would have no hesitation in imposing a custodial sentence, however, the Children Act stated that detention must be used as a last resort.

He said the teenager had been involved in organised crimes and had shown little remorse but he had to take into consideration his age, guilty plea and his co-operation.