'˜Absolutely amazing' someone wasn't killed

A judge has said the case of a 16-years-old boy, accused of driving on a popular Derry walkway, '˜brings to mind targeted driving attacks in Toronto, Westminster and Barcelona.'

Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 11:06 am

District Judge Peter King said it was ‘absolutely amazing’ the teen did not kill someone and he described the driving offences as ‘absolute madness.’ The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with multiple driving offences allegedly committed between April 27 and April 28.

They include dangerous driving, driving whilst unfit, and driving whilst disqualified as a result of his age.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard Gardai had attempted to stop the vehicle allegedly driven by the teen in Bridgend during the early hours of the morning. However, it crossed the border and Gardai passed the details of the car onto the PSNI.

Police observed the vehicle parked on the Strand Road ‘where all the local cruisers meet up.’

The car made off onto the pedestrian walkway and when police attempted to stop it there was a collision.

The court heard that police had concerns the car would ‘end up in the River Foyle due to the speed and erratic nature of the driving’.

It is alleged the car mounted the walkway for a second time until the path narrows and it could go no further.

During police interview, the defendant said he took his father’s car because he wanted to meet friends in the city and couldn’t get a lift.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said police believe there is a risk the teen will abscond.

The officer told the court the teen resides part time in care in the South and ‘frequently absconds’ from there.

He added police also have concerns the 16-years-old will commit further offences and that he ‘could seriously injure himself or someone else given the nature of his driving’.

Defence solicitor, Ciaran McGuinness, said his client could be released to the children’s home in the South and they ‘would do their best to ensure he returns here for any court hearings’.

He added there was a cash surety available.

Judge King refused the application, stating he could not think of any bail conditions that would prevent the teenager from ‘engaging in this type of behaviour again’.

The defendant was remanded in custody to appear at the local Youth Court later today.