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Warning Gardaí issue warning after child (9) caught using scrambler bike in Cork city

People have to know what their children are doing”


Ila bek Avetian and Anzhela Kotsinian

Ila bek Avetian and Anzhela Kotsinian

Ila bek Avetian and Anzhela Kotsinian

A nine-year-old child was found using a scrambler bike in Cork city, Monday’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee has heard. 

Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin referred to the incident when he briefed the meeting that a number of scrambler bikes have been seized this year.

Members of Cork City Council met with local residents across the northside who had concerns about scrambler use in their areas in In recent months.

He said a series of specialist checkpoints and patrols have taken place across the northside of the city in recent months.

Chief Superintendent McPolin highlighted the dangers of scramblers which pose a risk of serious injury to children and young people using them as he urged parents not to let their children use them.

He also pointed out that scramblers are mechanically propelled vehicles that require tax, insurance and a drivers licence by the user.

He confirmed to The Echo that the vehicle driven by the nine-year-old has been seized under Section 41 of the Road Traffic Act.

“People have to know what their children are doing.”

In April, Minister for Law Reform, James Browne, and then then Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, announced a new community-based response to the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes.

The initiative was labelled a “victory for Ireland” by a woman whose husband received devastating injuries as the result of an incident involving a scrambler

Ilabek Avetian (41) lost an eye and suffered a severe brain injury in 2018 after a scrambler bike landed on the couple while they sunbathed in Darndale Park, Coolock.

Speaking in April, his wife Anzhela Kotsinian (46) said the new proposed legislation to make the bikes illegal in public spaces was very welcome.

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“I’m very happy to hear about this, along with the legislation,” Anzhela said. “It’s a victory for all the Irish people.

“Now, I hope each person will be sure of their safety in a public park. I think that’s great. A lot of things will change to make life better for people in communities.”

Anzhela recently welcomed new measures to make it an offence to drive scramblers or quads in parks, green spaces, on beaches or wasteland.

Financial assistance will be provided to projects in local communities most affected.

Local schemes will create opportunities for training in vehicle handling, repair and maintenance and there will be second-chance education opportunities.

Anzhela said parents “will think more seriously about buying scramblers as presents for young people. And the community initiatives will help young people to have other interests.

“I hope this initiative, with the legislation, will help young people to know they must respect others."

Ilabek, who moved to Dublin with Anzhela to start a new life shortly before the tragic incident, will need lifelong care.

The former roofer is currently living in a nursing home while former teacher, Anzhela, who had been living in north Dublin, returned to her home of Russia in August, for medical treatment.

Anzhela said she misses her husband and hopes to return to Ireland soon.

“Every day I still think about it, how can I forget?” she said. “Sometimes I’m surprised by how strong I am, how I can live and battle like this for life.

“From 2018, I battled for Ilabek’s life and every day I prayed for his health.

"But then from last year, I had to fight for my own life after a breast cancer diagnosis.

“I want to be positive, to show others that everything can be overcome and no one should give up hope.

“Everyone should believe things can get better.”

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