shocking case | 

Cherry Orchard garda car rammers could get seven years sentence, says legal expert

“Technically, a seven-year sentence could be imposed in the event they are convicted.”

The incident in Cherry Orchard last week

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

THE JUVENILE car-thieves who rammed a patrol car in Cherry Orchard could be sentenced to up seven years in prison – if the judge who hears their case decides to bring ‘the full weight of the law to bear’, a legal expert this week told the Sunday World.

Gardai investigating the disturbing incident in which juvenile joyriders, thought to be as young as 13, rammed a patrol car occupied by female officers at 7.30pm on Monday, are treating the incident as endangerment.

Under section 13 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, a person shall be guilty of endangerment if they intentionally or recklessly engage in conduct which creates a substantial risk of death or serious harm to another.

And if found guilty, on indictment in the Circuit Court, a term of imprisonment of up to seven years applies.

“The fact the culprits in this case appear to be as young as 13 does not limit the court in any way from handing down the maximum sentence,” the legal source said.

“Technically, a seven-year sentence could be imposed in the event they are convicted.

“Their ages do not present a legal bar on this occurring.

“The likelihood is, however, that a judge will take their age and previous interactions with the legal system into account and the sentence will be much lesser because of this.”

The source said the only legal protection afforded to the youths is the fact they will be sent to Oberstown Detention Centre rather than an adult prison if convicted and jailed.

Separately, it’s understood the gardai investigation into Monday’s incident has now expanded and detectives are investigating the youths and their associates for numerous preceding car thefts.

Videos on Tiktok clearly show the faces of youths involved in the theft of a series of vehicles.

Raids were carried out on Thursday and early yesterday in connection with the ongoing investigation and a numbers of electronic devices including phones have been seized.

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