Teens driving scramblers on footpaths ‘big concern’

Youths driving scrambler motorcycles on footpaths and green areas have become a serious issue for gardaí on the northside of Cork City.

Inspector Gary McPolin made that point at an in camera hearing of Cork District Court for juvenile cases yesterday.

Insp McPolin outlined the background to a particular incident involving a 14-year-old boy after 3pm on June 12, 2017.

“Gardaí from Gurranabraher responded to a call regarding youths driving motorbikes on the Fairfield, Upper Fairhill, Cork,” he told the court. “The defendant was driving a yellow scrambler motorcycle on the footpath outside Willow Bank, Fairhill.

“He was not wearing a helmet and continued to drive at speed on the footpath resulting in a pedestrian having to take evasive action.

“When signalled to stop by gardaí, he drove across the road entering the Fairfield.

“A garda motorcyclist was in the area and assisted his colleagues in stopping the defendant. The bike was seized.”

The boy was later interviewed in the presence of his mother and admitted the offences of driving without licence or insurance.

Eddie Burke, defence solicitor, said that the bikes involved in this kind of activity were knee-high but he accepted that “the guards must be driven mad by vehicles of this sort being driven around the place”.

Insp McPolin said, “I am not blaming him for the ills of scrambler bikes but it is a serious issue for the northside of the city.”

The boy, who is now 15, was present in the juvenile court with his parents. His mother said they did not appreciate the seriousness of the problem at the time but do now.

Mr Burke said the defendant was getting more interested in computer games and spending more time indoors. Judge Aingil Ní Chondúin responded: “I don’t want him to become a zombie either.”

The judge warned the boy about his behaviour.

“He has his whole life in front of him. He doesn’t want to be meeting any cross judges,” she said.

Judge Ní Chondúin put the teenager on a probation bond for a period of nine months to obey all their directions.


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