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Teen gets two years' detention for dangerous driving causing death of Deliveroo cyclist Thiago Cortes

The boy was aged 16 when he struck and killed Thiago Cortes in August last year.

A TEENAGE BOY who struck and killed a courier on a bike after driving through a red light while over the speed limit has been remanded in juvenile detention for two years.

The boy (17), who cannot be named for legal reasons, was aged 16 when he struck and killed Thiago Cortes (28). The boy drove away from the scene afterwards and abandoned the car before fleeing along with other young people who had been passengers.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the car was travelling at an estimated 79km/h at the time of the impact, while the speed limit on the street was 50km/h.

The boy pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death at North Wall Quay, Dublin city centre, on 31 August 2020. He also pleaded guilty to failing to report the incident at the same address on the same date. He has no previous convictions.

Passing sentence today, Judge Martin Nolan imposed a sentence of two years detention in a juvenile facility. He ordered that the boy be given credit for any time already served in a detention centre.

Judge Nolan said it is not the case that the offence came from inattention or a lack of care, it is “active bad driving”.

In her victim impact statement, which she read out before the court, the fiancée of the deceased man Teresa Dantas Oliveira (29) said she can “never fully explain what I am feeling” or how “the loss of Thiago has impacted my life”.

Ms Oliveira said after the collision she “prayed for a miracle, but a miracle never came”. She said she was lucky enough to be by Mr Cortes’ side in his last hours and hold his hand.

She said she had to tell his parents their son had been badly injured and was not going to make it. She said that saying those words hurt her deeply and that she felt she had failed to protect their son.

Ms Oliveira said all her plans had “involved Thiago one way or another”, but she must now do without him. She said it is like she is missing a part of herself.

She said her future was taken from her, that “years of dreams” were taken and she now had to learn to dream again. She said the most precious thing she had was taken from her and she will never be the same.

The time we spent together was not enough, it will never be.

Detective Sergeant John Brady told Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that Mr Cortes came from Brazil to the country to study English along with his fiancée and was working as a courier for the food delivery service Deliveroo at the time of his death.

Det Sgt Brady said Mr Cortes was attempting to turn right on North Wall Quay when the accused boy drove through a red light and struck him with his car. The accused was driving at an estimated 79km/h at the time of the impact, while the speed limit on the street was 50km/h.

The court heard that the traffic light had been red for two seconds prior to the collision and orange for three seconds prior to turning red. There was some evidence of braking by the car just prior to the impact.

Mr Cortes was brought to hospital and attempts were made to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead on 2 September 2020. The cause of death was found to be a severe traumatic brain injury which was “unsurvivable”.

The accused did not remain at the scene, instead driving away to a nearby square where he abandoned the car which had been purchased on the same day as the incident from an unregistered dealer. He fled the car along with a number of other young people who had been passengers.

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A witness to the collision told gardaí she could hear loud music coming from the car prior to the incident. Another witness said they saw the car overtake a lorry at speed just prior to the collision.

Extensive CCTV footage was gathered and the accused voluntarily attended at a Garda station following his mother’s home being searched. He said he was available for arrest and interview, but that he had nothing to say.

Glass fibres were found on his clothes and his DNA was found on bottles in the car. The court heard he has been in a detention centre since December 2020.

About the author:

Brion Hoban

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