A teenager from east
Inishowen has been warned he faces a one-year
detention sentence for a 'joyriding' incident last
The 16-year old, who cannot be named for legal
reasons, appeared at Carn court yesterday where he
pleaded guilty to the unauthorised taking of a
vehicle, having no insurance and no licence on the
date in question.
Judge Desmond Zaidan was told the incident happened
on August 4th, 2006, when the youth took a taxi to
Derry with two friends - one of whom was 19, the
other, also 16.
They were served alcohol in a number of city bars
before an argument ensued. The 19-year old, who had
parked his small van at the defendant's family home,
parted company with the other two.
When he returned to Donegal to get his vehicle,
however, it was missing, the court heard.
Through his solicitor, Philip White, the defendant
admitted taking the van as a prank and accidentally
crashing it when he lost control of the vehicle a
short distance from his home. The cost of repairs
was €3,200, which he has since paid for from his own
money, the court was told.
Judge Zaidan warned the defendant: "To my mind
joyriding attracts an immediate custodial sentence".
He added that it was "an absolute shame" the
underage teen was served alcohol in bars in Derry.
Mr. White said his client suffered from Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) that
predisposed him to impulsive behaviour. But he had
changed dramatically since the accident, Mr. White
Judge Zaidan adjourned the case until June 19th,
2007, for probation and medical reports but
reiterated his warning that despite the reports'
findings, the defendant still faced a 12-month
sentence in St. Patrick's Institution in Dublin.