A schoolboy has pleaded guilty to travelling in stolen cars which rammed a garda vehicle carrying two female officers in Ballyfermot in Dublin.
After “refusing to get out of bed” to face a hearing on Tuesday, the 15-year-old turned up at the Dublin Children’s Court on Thursday.
Accompanied to the proceedings by his parents and solicitor Niall Walsh, the Junior Cert student pleaded guilty to 19 charges.
They involved six separate prosecutions for incidents over nine months in Dublin last year when he was 14.
Two of them were for allowing himself to be a passenger in two stolen cars on September 19th, 2022, when the patrol car was rammed three times after gardaí responded to a report about joyriders.
Two were for criminal damage to a CCTV system and a fire extinguisher at a residential building in Reuben Square, Dublin 8.
An incident on August 19th led to charges for unlawfully driving a stolen vehicle, having no licence or insurance, failing to produce documents and seven counts of dangerous driving in the Tallaght area.
There were also guilty pleas to being a passenger in a stolen vehicle in the Drimnagh area on May 9th, attempted unlawful entry to a motor vehicle in Citywest on April 16th, and criminal damage to a car passenger window on June 6th in Tallaght.
A probation report on the teen was furnished to the court, which added a bail condition to stay out of the Tallaght area.
Mr Walsh asked Judge John O’Leary to note the pleas and adjourn the case to allow the boy to sit his exams. He said that would “go into the mix as mitigation”.
District Court president Judge Paul Kelly would be presiding on the next date. The solicitor said Judge Kelly had already been supervising the teen, was “extensively involved” in the proceedings and was familiar with the background.
The teen spoke briefly during the hearing to tell Judge O’Leary his Junior Cert exam dates.
Judge O’Leary adjourned the case until June 21st, when gardaí will give facts on all matters. The boy was remanded on continuing bail.
He has yet to say how he will plead to two other charges: being a passenger in a stolen car in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, on April 24th this year, and unlawful interference with a car in Dublin on February 4th, 2022.
Videos of the Ballyfermot incident were shared widely on social media, with the clips showing collisions with the patrol vehicle cheered by on-lookers at Cherry Orchard Avenue and Cedarbrook Avenue.
Earlier, Detective Garda Michael McNulty said that after responding to a report of joyriders, the two female gardaí were “rammed” by two Toyota Aquas.
The cars had been stolen within the previous 48 hours and were driven dangerously on the date of the incident,
“They proceeded to ram the patrol cars three times,” Detective McNulty had alleged, adding that the boy was a back-seat passenger.
His case is to remain in the Children’s Court.
However, it has yet to rule on the trial venue of two co-defendants who face a preliminary hearing in July on more serious charges.
They are accused of dangerous driving and endangerment of life by driving aggressively and colliding with the patrol car. It is alleged they intentionally or recklessly created a risk of death or serious harm.
The Director of Public Prosecutions has recommended that those two co-defendants face trial in the Circuit Court which has broader sentencing powers.
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The three boys must attend school or bail supervision programmes and remain contactable by mobile phone, and two must stay out of the Ballyfermot area.
In addition, the court has restricted them from contacting each other and warned them to be of good behaviour and not be in control of any motor vehicles.
Breaking bail terms risk them being held in custody. Until age 18, the law classes the defendants as children with a right to anonymity.
Two other boys avoided court prosecution by acceptance into the Garda juvenile youth diversion programme earlier.