25 Sept 2022

Community service, driving ban for youth with 38 convictions

The boy pleaded guilty to the theft of two cars and an incident of criminal damage.

Court gavel

A Donegal youth with 38 previous convictions has been ordered to complete 120 hours of community service and banned from driving for two years.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Letterkenny District Court.

The boy pleaded guilty to the theft of two cars and an incident of criminal damage. He also pleaded guilty to driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

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

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.

Sergeant Jim Collins told the court that the boy had 38 previous convictions.

Judge Alan Mitchell, noting that the boy was classed as a ‘high risk’ of reoffending said he was considering a three-month detention period for the youth with the previous convictions in mind.

The boy was deemed suitable for community service and Judge Mitchell said he would impose 120 hours of community service if the accused was agreeable.

The boy, who appeared via video link, told Judge Mitchell that he would comply.

Judge Mitchell warned the boy to comply and complete the community service satisfactorily within 12 month, warning him that it was a criminal offence not to obey the order.

The unlawful taking of both vehicles were marked taken into consideration by Judge Mitchell, who disqualified the accused from driving for two years.

The boy is in custody on other charges and was remanded in detention at the Oberstown Children Detention Campus to appear again in two weeks.

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