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Teen caught driving mum's car with no license or insurance gets second chance

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Teen caught driving mum's car with no license or insurance gets second chance

A DUBLIN youth, who was found with a supply of cannabis herb when gardai stopped him a second time for unlawfully driving his mother's car, has been spared a sentence and a road-ban.

The 17-year-old boy, who wants to get work in the motor trade, was fined €150 and was told he was getting a chance when he pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court today.

The teen admitted driving two cars belonging to his mother while he did not have a licence or insurance after he was pulled over at the Malahide Road on dates in August and November last year. He also had about €30 worth of cannabis in his possession when he was stopped on the second occasion.

Judge Timothy Lucey heard the boy had no prior criminal convictions and had pleaded guilty at an early stage. He also noted reports from gardai that the boy was co-operative and did not have a drug problem.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble said the teen's mother, who was present for the hearing, no longer has the cars. “She has been affected. To remove the temptation she no longer has the vehicles,” the solicitor told the court.

He also asked the court note that the vehicles were not stolen and had not been driven dangerously. The youth takes part in sporting activities in his community and his family hope he will complete the Leaving Certificate, he added, in pleas for leniency.

The judge told the teen a car can be a lethal weapon and he spoke to the boy about the dangers of driving while uninsured, how his offences can result in jail sentences and how a licence was necessary to get work. 

The youth listened to the judge and then gave an undertaking that he would never drive unlawfully again.

Judge Lucey went on to tell the teenager he was giving him a chance and he struck out two of the motoring charges; he imposed the fine for the remaining charges for not having a licence or motor insurance.

But he spared him a conviction for the cannabis possession offence by applying the Probation Act on that charge.