Voluntary work for boy, 16, for driving sister's car

A 16-year-old boy, who drove his sister’s car home after he had been left “stranded” following her arrest for theft, has been ordered to do 20 hours voluntary charity work or else he is to be fined €500.

The boy pleaded guilty at the Children’s Court to driving without a licence and insurance on May 6 last, at Blakestown Road, in Dublin.

Defence solicitor Michelle Finan said the boy had been with his sister at the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre. His sister had been arrested and he “was stranded".

“He then drove her car to get home.”

She appealed to the court not to impose a road ban on the boy, who had no previous convictions.

Pleading for leniency she said the boy’s mother was hospitalised for mental health problems and his father had a serious alcohol problem.

“The children in the family pretty much fended for themselves,” she said adding that the teenager was taking part in a FÁS course through which he hoped to complete the Junior Certificate.

She said if he had a driving ban record it might damage his prospects of being able to afford motor insurance in later years.

Judge Ryan remanded the teenager on bail to appear again in July. She said she would not impose a road ban but said she was ordering the boy to do 20 hours voluntary work for a charity in lieu of a €500 fine.

Ms Finan said that the boy was willing to undertake the charity work which he would find through his parish priest.

Judge Ryan said the boy was to produce evidence that the work has been completed otherwise the fine would be imposed.

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