Teen offender caught doing handbrake turns given chance to avoid custodial sentence

Teen offender caught doing handbrake turns given chance to avoid custodial sentence

A TEENAGER, who caused a car to spin out of control on a Dublin road when he pulled its handbrake, has been given a chance to avoid a custodial sentence

Judge John O'Connor imposed a three-month deferred detention order and adjourned the case until April. He told the boy, aged 17, who is in care, that if he stays out of trouble and obeys a number of conditions in the mean time, no further order will be made at the next hearing. However, if he breaks the order the sentence will be activated, the judge warned.

The boy, who remains on bail, 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 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 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