A TEENAGER who stole his mother’s car in the middle of the night and crashed into two vehicles said, “My mother is going to kill me, I’ve wrecked the car” before fleeing the scene.
The 17-year-old was before Kilmallock Court charged with the unauthorised taking of a vehicle and two counts of criminal damage. A guilty plea was entered to all counts.
Sergeant Michelle Leahy said gardai responded to a call of a hit and run at Kylefea, Croom in the early hours of Friday morning, October 11.
“At 3.20am gardai attended the scene and met one of the car’s owners. They said a silver Volkswagen had hit off both of the cars, drove off and was abandoned.
“Gardai checked the vehicle and went to the house of the owner,” said Sgt Leahy.
Another witness told gardai they had seen two young males in dark clothes leaving the car and heard one saying, “My mother is going to kill me, I’ve wrecked the car”.
Gardai called to the home of the teen’s mother, who did know not the car had been taken. They checked his bedroom which was empty.
“Gardai heard a noise and the defendant came in to the house. He was very defensive about his actions,” said Sgt Leahy.
The young male’s solicitor, Denis Linehan, said on the night in question between 1.30am and 2am his client couldn’t sleep.
“He located his mother’s car keys on a seat and decided to go for a drive. He was driving very fast, hit two cars and abandoned his mother’s car.
“He was defensive and didn’t make a proper admission for another few hours,” said Mr Linehan, who added that he had spoken to one of the injured parties and was endeavouring to speak to the other.
The court heard that in terms of compensation for the damage caused in the crash the mother’s insurance or the injured parties insurance will cover it. Without wishing to sound “elitist”, Mr Linehan said the teenager comes from an excellent background and family.
“He is causing great grief and it is having a devastating effect on the overall family. He is creating mayhem,” said Mr Linehan.
The court heard that he dropped out of school after the Junior Cert and now spends his days at home.
Mr Linehan said his Junior Cert results showed the 17-year-old had “some talent” and “should be in some form of education”.
A Youthreach course was shown to Judge Mary Larkin.
“He must take steps to improve his life. I’m asking for a chance. He has dyslexia,” said Mr Linehan.
Judge Larkin said she won’t accept that [dyslexia].
“I don’t want him using that or ADHD or any of those as an excuse. They can do exams on tapes, computers, there is spellcheck.
“I have personal experience of children going though third level. Where there is a will there is a way and he is lacking will,” said Judge Larkin. “I am quite sure his mother is at the end of her tether. It is very fortunate for him that it is her insurance that will pick up the tab for his disregard.
“It is outrageous. I’m sure his parents didn’t do anything to deserve this,” added the judge.
He was convicted by Judge Larkin who ordered a report from the probation and welfare services. She said her views on sentencing will be coloured by how he goes about becoming a responsible functioning adult.
“He has to go to work or school and live like the rest of us. I’m asking the gardai to keep a strict eye on him,” said Judge Larkin.
His curfew was amended so he could play sport in the evening and Judge Larkin noted that if he is playing sport he will be able to sleep at night.She asked for a testimonial from a member of the club where he plays sport and from the education course at the court sitting in January.
“He has to be of good behaviour and sober habits,” said Judge Larkin, who added that he now had “two choices”
“This is either a stepping stone to a life in jail or to living a life,” concluded the judge.
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