04 Oct 2022

Youth with 38 convictions pleads guilty to car thefts

Letterkenny courthouse

Letterkenny courthouse

A Donegal youth with 38 previous convictions has pleaded guilty to the theft of two cars and an incident of criminal damage.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before a sitting of Falcarragh District Court.

The charges related to incidents on October 8, 2021, when the youth was aged 15.

The court heard that the boy replied ‘I’m sorry’ and ’sorry’ when charged. His mother, who accompanied the boy to court, was presented when he was charged.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) directed trial on indictment in the Circuit Court, but because he is a juvenile, a ‘Section 75 hearing’ was allowed, meaning the Children’s Court retained jurisdiction in the matter.

At 9am on October 8, 2021, Gardaí observed a car crashed into a ditch. The car was extensively damaged and appeared to be abandoned. However, Gardaí found the youth asleep in the back of the vehicle. He said he had been the passenger and didn’t know the driver. Gardaí carried out enquires and established that the vehicle had been taken without the consent of the owner.

The court heard that the boy had entered his aunt’s home as a trespasser and committed theft.

Having taken a vehicle without the owner’s consent, he subsequently collided with a pillar, causing damage.

Admissions were made in regard the unauthorised taking of both vehicles, the court was told.

Guilty pleas were tendered in respect of the criminal damage and the unauthorised taking of the vehicles. The trespass charge was withdrawn.

The teenager also pleaded guilty to driving without a licence and driving without insurance. 

The youth was remanded in detention at the Oberstown Children Detention Campus.

The matter was adjourned to January 24, 2021 for a probation report and sentence. 

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