Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland schoolboy crashed mum’s car after 100mph chase

By Nevin Farrell

A 15-year-old reached 100mph after fleeing from police in Limavady, and it was "only by the grace of God" that no one died when the car he was driving crashed, a court has heard.

The teenager, now 17, appeared before Coleraine Youth Court yesterday and was ordered to undertake 100 hours of community service and banned from driving for 18 months.

He had previously admitted charges of dangerous driving at Main Street and Ballyquin Road on March 6, 2016.

He also admitted aggravated taking of his mother's car and damaging the vehicle; a charge of driving while disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence by reason of his age; having no insurance, and failing to stop for police at Limavady's Connell Street.

Despite the crash, the court heard the youth then went back on the road illegally.

He also admitted driving a car while disqualified by his age and being uninsured at Foreglen Road near Dungiven on February 10, 2017.

A prosecutor said that when the car being driven during the Limavady incident reached speeds of up to 100mph, police stopped the pursuit for safety reasons. A short time later the car hit a telegraph pole and wall and rolled on to its roof, but the occupants weren't seriously injured.

A defence lawyer said if any court division knew the consequences of high speed driving, it was Limavady.

The lawyer said the vehicle was being "shown off" in the town and when the defendant saw police he took off, but "didn't get particularly far".

The defence added that the car was "full of young men that night" and the most serious injury was to the defendant's brother.

He added: "It is only by the grace of God that we are not dealing with fatalities."

District Judge Peter King said courts take an "extremely dim view" of such cases and that what caused him a significant amount of concern was that the youth had been on the road on two separate occasions.

The judge said he had considered custody or a suspended sentence.

However, he said that given the guilty pleas and a limited record, and the fact that one of the objectives of the Youth Court is to rehabilitate offenders, he was adopting the recommendation of a report to him.

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