A local judge has told a teenager with an “atrocious record” he has “run out of lives in this court”.
District Judge Barney McElholm made the comment as he deferred the sentencing of 19-year-old Marc Villa.
Villa, whose address was given on court papers as Crawford Square, pleaded guilty to aggravated taking a vehicle and causing damage on April 2.
He also admitted the theft of £40 in cash from the car on the same date.
Derry Magistrates Court heard that a car was stolen during a “creeper” burglary. Although Villa was not involved in the theft of the car, he was a passenger in it.
The court was told Villa and others in the car went to Donegal and he took £40 he had found in the car to buy alcohol and cigarettes.
The car then crashed in a ditch and Villa left the scene.
However, a 15-year-old was arrested and gave Villa’s name to police.
Defence solicitor Maeliosa Barr told the court his client has an “atrocious record” but the teen now wants to “change his behaviour”.
He said Villa has made “strenuous efforts” to avoid his former friends and wants to address his alcohol and drug addiction.
Deferring sentencing for four months, Judge McElholm said he had “severe doubts that Villa is really committed to change”.
He said the teenager has expressed the desire to change on numerous occasions but “never actually does anything about it.
However, he said he would give the 19-year-old “an opportunity to show he means it this time, although I would be surprised if he does”.
The judge warned the teenager if he did not engage in counselling or committed further offences “you will be going into custody for as long as I can send you there”.
Villa will appear in court again on February 15.