A teenager, who stole a mini van in Co. Roscommon and drove on the wrong side of a road during his attempted getaway across the midlands, has been given a one-year sentence.
Judge John O’Connor had accepted the 17-year-old Dublin boy had “significant issues” and in February he had given the boy a last chance when he adjourned sentencing until today.
It was hoped the boy would take up a nearby training course placement, but the court heard the teenager had failed to attend on numerous occasions and gardaí had evidence of breach of bail.
The boy pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court to theft of a Renault Traffic Van from a house in Boyle, Co. Roscommon, on March 14, 2017
Another youth who stole an Audi car during the burglary in Boyle is currently serving a sentence.
Judge John O’Connor heard that Gardai gave pursuit and the two vehicles were seen driving in convoy near Mullingar in Co. Westmeath.
Defence counsel Alison Fynes said the boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was remorseful.
A stinger device was deployed to stop them but it was avoided and the then 16-year-old drove the van across a fly-over and headed back westbound “on the wrong side of the N4”. Gardai spotted him abandoning the van and running behind a house.
He was arrested and taken to Mullingar Garda station.
The court heard the boy also pleaded guilty to taking part in a burglary at a service station in Co. Laois last year and also admitted a breach of the peace, three more counts of driving without insurance on other occasions as well as another dangerous driving incident. On a date last June he set fire to a mattress in a Garda station cell.
The judge has said the teenager has been lucky to be included in a bail support scheme unlike most defendants and yet there had been “blatant” breaches of his bail terms.
Counsel said he had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when he was aged eight; the court heard he had dyslexia and he had attended a special centre for “extensive supports”.
But the judge said today that “the vast majority of people with those issues do not come before the court”.
The teen begged for another chance but the judge said that people had suffered as a result of his behaviour and he proceeded to sentencing. In addition to the 12-month sentence he also banned the youth from driving for six years.
The teen did not say anything after he was sentenced but was permitted to hug his distraught grandmother before he was led out of the courtroom to await transfer to the Oberstown detention centre for young offenders.
The teen also faces another a fresh charge relating to a motor theft after the front door to a house in Dublin was broken down and car keys were taken; he has not yet indicated how he will plead in that case which has been adjourned until a later date.