Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Scrambler death case: lesser plea is accepted

A man has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving in relation to a fatal road traffic accident which claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy in north Belfast.

Dean McComb (20) was due to go on trial at Belfast Crown Court accused of causing the death of Daniel Mooney (right) by dangerous driving, but defence QC Charles MacCreanor asked for the charges to be read out again.

McComb was riding a scrambler motorcycle while Daniel was a passenger on another bike.

Standing in the dock beside his solicitor McComb, from North Queen Street, pleaded guilty “to dangerous driving only” and two other charges of driving without a licence and without insurance on May 15 last year.

The charges that he killed 12-year-old Daniel were “left on the books” and prosecuting QC John Orr told Deputy Recorder of Belfast, Judge Corinne Philpott QC, that “having consulted at some length” the guilty pleas to lesser offences were acceptable.

Daniel was riding as a pillion passenger on a second scrambler motorbike at Mountcoole Park when he fell off and died from the head injuries he sustained. He was not wearing a helmet.

The driver of that bike, 33-year-old Andrew Paul Morrow, from Vara Drive in Belfast, is in custody awaiting sentence after he pleaded guilty to causing Daniel's death by dangerous driving as well as other offences of causing the death by driving while disqualified and without insurance.

His father spoke out at the time of his death, warning other young children not to ride motorcycles without a helmet. Fred Mooney also said he had warned his son not to go on the motorcycle.

Mr Mooney added that his son had a passion for motorbikes and was fearless.

“Other kids need to see the outcome of it. What it is like getting on a motorbike of any size or speed without a helmet,” he said.

Mr Mooney said the death was “the waste of a life”.

Judge Philpott ordered pre-sentence probation reports to be compiled on McComb and said she would sentence both defendants next month once reports are ready.

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