We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Dublin Children's Court

Case dropped against 14-year-old charged in connection with Ballyfermot Garda car ramming incident

The case was dropped to allow the teen to participate in a crime diversion

A PROSECUTION BROUGHT against a 14-year-old boy charged in connection with the ramming of a Garda car in Ballyfermot in Dublin has been dropped to allow him to participate in a crime diversion programme instead.

Videos of the incident at around 7.30 pm on 19 September  went viral on social media. The footage showed a collision between the patrol vehicle and another car cheered by on-lookers.

Gardai commenced an investigation and made five arrests, and in October, gardai charged four teenage boys.

Following a four-month adjournment at the Dublin Children’s Court, Judge Brendan Toale noted that one boy, aged 14, had been referred to the Garda juvenile diversion programme.

He had been charged with unlawfully travelling as a passenger in a stolen car at Cedarbrook Avenue on 19 September. 

The crime diversion scheme is an alternative to a court prosecution and does not carry the risk of a criminal record and a custodial sentence.

The withdrawal of his court case follows representations by defence solicitor Lorraine Stephens. When the matter first came into the juvenile court in October, she questioned why the teen was not included in the diversion programme and asked for that to be reconsidered.

Meanwhile, three co-defendants are still before the courts but are yet to indicate a plea. Judge Toale remanded them on continuing bail to appear again in April to obtain directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions, who has received a file from investigating gardai.

One schoolboy, aged 15, is accused of unlawful use of a stolen car at Cedarbrook Avenue, dangerous driving, in a manner including speed, at Cherry Orchard Avenue, and criminal damage to a garda car at the same location.

Another 15-year-old boy is accused of unlawful use of a stolen car at Cedarbrook Avenue and using or being a passenger in another stolen car on the same date. He is also charged with dangerous driving at Cherry Orchard Avenue and criminal damage to the Garda car.

A 14-year-old is accused of being a passenger in the two alleged stolen vehicles at Cedarbrook Avenue.

They must attend school or bail supervision programmes and remain contactable by mobile phone, and two must stay out of the Ballyfermot area.

Earlier, the judge had noted they had “no business” to be in the area.

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.

The boys, accompanied to court by family members, were told that breaking bail terms risked them being held in custody.

Until age 18, the law classes the defendants as children with a right to anonymity.

A fifth boy was referred to the juvenile youth diversion programme last year.