Friday, November 11, 2022

Tom Tuite

A Dublin youth has admitted risking the lives of two gardai by speeding a car at them and waiting for them to approach on foot before driving at them again.

His parents are also facing arrest if they keep dodging their legal obligation for at least one of them to accompany their son to his court case.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was charged with two counts of endangerment during the incident in Tallaght in January.

Judge Brendan Toale heard at the Dublin Children’s Court that the teen was entering a guilty plea. However, he also noted that the boy was not accompanied to court by a responsible adult.

Defence solicitor Aonghus McCarthy was instructed that this was due to childcare issues.

The judge noted from gardai that it had repeatedly happened during the past 20 appearances by the boy. Parents or guardians of defendants are required by law to attend proceedings in the Children’s Court.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, had looked into his situation and found no care or welfare issues.

Judge Toale ordered gardai to caution the boy’s mother and father to attend when the case resumes next week. He said it was “of crucial importance” as the teenager could face a custodial sentence.

He told gardai to apply to the court for an arrest warrant if they failed to attend.

He also asked the Probation Service to commence preparing a pre-sentence report on the youth.

Previous hearing

At a previous preliminary hearing, Garda Eoghan Grant alleged that the boy drove at high speed at 11.29pm on the night of January 29th at Mac Uilliam Way.

Garda Grant told the court, “the car came at us and swerved around us at the last minute and stopped”.

He and a colleague approached the stationary car to open the doors.

He said the teen “suddenly reversed” over a footpath and then came forward again, and “we had to take evasive action to avoid being struck”.

He alleged the teenager “waited for us to approach on foot and drove at us”.

However, the court heard that the car then got stuck in mud, at which point the teen abandoned the vehicle to flee.

They suffered no injuries, but the garda added that “the manner of the driving was particularly dangerous” and that he and his colleague had to “jump out of the way”.

Asked if the driver had been “trying to scare” them, the garda replied, “I don’t know; it was very unusual for someone who was going to abandon the car that they would not have done it before we approached”.

The teen also has charges for possessing cannabis, breach of the peace and other motoring offences before the court. While on bail, he must obey a 10pm to 7am curfew, remain contactable by mobile phone, and not use any motor vehicle.

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