Dublin teen sentenced and banned for 10 years for driving rampage

Dublin teen sentenced and banned for 10 years for driving rampage

A YOUTH has been given a six-month sentence and a 10-year road ban after he led gardai on a high-speed car chase and drove against the flow of traffic on the quays in Dublin city-centre.

The 17-year-old boy was already banned from driving just months before the incident which ended after he came to a halt going the wrong way at Ushers Island. At one point during his attempt to escape capture he reached speeds of 120 kph in a 50kph zone, the Dublin Children's Court heard.

Judge John O'Connor said today that the boy, who already has 38 prior convictions, had shown complete disregard for other people on busy Dublin streets and he noted he had been disqualified from driving at the time.

The youth, a convicted drug dealer, pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving as well as failing to stop for gardai and not having a licence or motor insurance in connection with the incident on the night of January 13 last.

He also admitted driving unlawfully on two other dates and taking part in an attempt to steal a motorbike.

Defence solicitor Tony Collier asked the court to note that the teenager, who cannot be named because he is still a juvenile, did not have a drink or drug problem. 

A probation report stated the youth, who was accompanied to court by his parents, was influenced by negative peers.

Mr Collier said the teenager could end up worse by serving a custodial sentence however Judge O'Connor said all other options such as community service and probation have already been exhausted.

The young offender had also been given two four-year road bans in 2014 for earlier motoring offences. 

Garda Michael Mullen said he saw two males acting suspiciously in two cars. The teen drove off and the garda got out of his patrol car signalling him to stop but the boy sped past.

He turned on to Manor Street and “travelled at 120 kph in a 50 kph area” and Gda Mullen said the youth drove erratically while several members of the public were present.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, also ran three red lights as he sped along Blackhall Place and crossed James Joyce Bridge, the court heard.

He turned left and went against the flow of traffic at Ushers Island for about 100 metres “before mounting a footpath and coming to stop”.

The teenager “bought the car that day for a couple of hundred euro”, said Gda Mullen.

The teen was also found guilty of possessing a stolen bottle of aftershave on a date in March.

The court was given a breakdown of his criminal record: 20 convictions for motoring offences including five for not having insurance, 10 public order charges, four drugs charges, two thefts and two criminal damage offences.

The teenager had been given 200 hours' community service in September last year for drug dealing and two four-year road bans were also handed down in the same month for some of his previous motoring crimes.