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Teen caused car to spin out of control by pulling handbrake on busy Dublin road

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Teen caused car to spin out of control by pulling handbrake on busy Dublin road

A TEENAGER, who caused a car carrying him and care workers to spin out of control on a Dublin road when he suddenly pulled its handbrake, has been spared a custodial sentence.

Judge John O'Connor noted that the 17-year-old boy complied with a warning given three months earlier to stay out of trouble to avoid a term in a detention centre.

Judge O'Connor said he was very pleased with the latest probation reports on the boy and added that he had "really turned his life around" and that there has been a "big change".

The boy pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to reckless endangerment of life by by pulling the handbrake while travelling as a passenger in a car on the R132, in Swords in north Dublin on November 10, 2014. 

The vehicle was driven by one of his care workers.

He also admitted breaking plates at his former care home and attacking a care worker by throwing objects at her on a date in March last year. He broke a car's wing mirror at his former care facility in October. He was caught with a €20 supply of cannabis on May and in June he stole headphones worth €79 from a TK Maxx outlet in Dublin.

Judge O'Connor said that the case was a balancing act in relation to the therapeutic interventions and the injured parties. He noted that the teenager now has a job and a garda involved in the case agreed that he had never seen such a good a transformation in a young offender.

Judge O'Connor accepted the teen had "turned himself around".

He had also ordered the teenager to take part in a mentoring programme for troubled youths, and another which provides help to young people in the care system, and to remain in employment.

Noting that the teenager complied with the order, he struck out the charges sparing the boy not just a sentence but also recorded convictions for the offences.

Defence counsel Damian McKeone said it was fair to say that the boy's Garda case manager has take a lot of interest in the teen. Judge O'Connor said that everyone involved in the case particularly the case manager, Gda Conor Tumbleton, must be complimented.

The teenager has another matter before the courts, a burglary at a bookmaker that resulted in a four-month sentence, which is currently under appeal.

The boy was in full-time care of the Child and Family Agency and had a drug problem but has started to engage with a substance abuse treatment service.