Dublin parents beg court to lock son up
A Dublin youth, who stole a car from a petrol station, has been given a six-month sentence after his parents begged for him to sent to a detention centre.
"I didn't get to say goodbye to him," his shocked mother whispered after her son was led off to await transfer to the detention centre minutes after she pleaded with the Dublin Children's Court to impose a custodial sentence.
Her son, aged 17, pleaded guilty to litany of crimes: three motor thefts, seven dangerous driving incidents, drug possession, shop lifting, trespassing, criminal damage and driving without insurance.
Almost all his offences took place from March last year until February of this year in Dublin but he was also involved in a car theft at a petrol station in Co Wicklow, the court heard.
The teenager, who had racked up 15 charges, had not engaged with the Probation Service which had been trying to divert him from re-offending. Judge John O'Connor suggested an updated probation report and an adjournment, however, defence counsel Damian McKeone informed the court that the boy wanted his case finalised.
The judge warned him that he was facing a six-month sentence and the teenager said he understood. His mother then addressed the hearing and said that the family and the boy did not want the case to be put back.
"We want it to be dealt with," the boy's mother told the court.
The judge said the boy would be "mixing with a very criminalised community" in Oberstown detention centre.
The teen's father then spoke up and said: "We find at this stage it is actually just progressing and progressing, what we're afraid of, if it is not dealt with here and now, he could just get worse."
The man said he and his wife believed that their son "has to face up to the consequences of what he has done, he's prepared to do that at the present time".
He also explained to the court that his son's girlfriend "is due" and the teen wanted "to come out with a clean slate".
Judge O'Connor noted the teen would not engage with the Probation Service and proceeded to sentence the youth to six months detention. He also imposed a four-year road ban on the teenager, who cannot be identified because he is a minor.
When the case concluded the teenager hurriedly hugged his mother who told him "God bless", before he was escorted down to the holding cells to await transfer to the detention centre.
"I did not get to say goodbye to him," the upset mother said quietly to the boy's father as they left the courtroom.
The teenager had pleaded guilty to a motor theft on March 1 last year at St Vincent Street West and three counts of dangerous driving on the same date.
In June 2016 he was caught with a small amount of cannabis, which he had for his own use.
On August 17 last, he damaged and stole a car in Drimnagh. The incident led to a charge for having no motor insurance and four counts of dangerous driving on the same date.
The teenager also stole a from a garage at Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow on Octover 26 last and on the same date he was caught trespassing at a building in Cowper Road, Dublin 6.
He stole ice-cream from a shop in Dublin in February.