Belfast Telegraph

Teen who ploughed stolen Range Rover into car and house is jailed

Caoimhin James Black
Caoimhin James Black
The damage caused to a house in Belfast after a car driven by Caoimhin James Black smashed into it in January 2018
The damage caused to a house in Belfast after a car driven by Caoimhin James Black smashed into it in January 2018

By Paul Higgins

A so-called joyrider who caused £38,000 of damage when he crashed a stolen Range Rover into another car and a house was handed a four-month custodial sentence yesterday.

Sentencing 19-year-old Caoimhin James Black at Newtownards Magistrates Court, District Judge Mark Hamill lamented the fact that prosecutors withdrew numerous other charges arising from the incident in January last year, including criminal damage and dangerous driving.

Having outlined Black's criminal record - including multiple convictions for stealing vehicles, burglary and criminal damage - the judge told the teenager: "The maximum I can give you is six months but I have to give you discount for pleading guilty - so it's four months in each count concurrent, and disqualified for two years."

He warned Black however that "if you come back in front of me for the like of this again, I will make sure that jurisdiction is refused.

"You can't keep doing this to people's property and people's lives and you will face a lengthy, lengthy custodial sentence.

"We are not talking months, we are talking years."

At an earlier hearing Black, from Conway Place in Belfast, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicle taking causing damage to the stolen Range Rover and a Seat Leon on January 3 last year.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court how the keys to the Range Rover and a Toyota C-HR were taken during a burglary at a house on Carney Hill in Holywood in the early hours of the morning.

At around 5am, said the lawyer, the stolen Toyota crashed into a lamppost on Glenmachan Street.

A short time later, the stolen Range Rover crashed into a parked Seat Leon on Cavendish Street before ploughing into the front of a house causing massive damage to it.

Security camera footage captured Black getting out of the driver's seat of the crashed Range Rover and after "names of those involved were received by the police," Black was arrested.

Forensic examination of the Range Rover uncovered Black's DNA profile from the steering wheel, the court heard.

During police questioning, Black refused to answer questions, the PPS lawyer said.

He added that a total of £38,000 worth of damage was caused to the Seat Leon and Range Rover.

Black's defence lawyer conceded there is "no denying" his relevant criminal convictions.

However, he submitted that Black was going through a "completely destructive time in his life.

Since then, Black has strived to get the help and support he needs, the lawyer told the court.

"He now realises, with an adult head on his shoulders, that he cannot continue in this way," said the lawyer.

Sentencing Black, Mr Hamill told him that "sooner or later, someone will say enough is enough" and send him to the Crown Court.

Belfast Telegraph

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