A TEENAGER who seriously injured a priest in Ireland after crashing into him with a stolen car has been handed a suspended sentence and driving ban.
Fr Liam McClarey, 57, suffered two broken ankles and a hairline fracture to his knee after the young car thief ploughed into him in Dublin last year.
Dublin Children’s Court heard how Fr McClarey was unable to perform his parish duties after being hospitalised with the injuries.
The court was told that the 17-year-old boy had been out on bail when the crash occurred at Blanchardstown Road North on November 8, 2016.
The Honda car involved in the incident was stolen from Hartstown in Dublin 15, Gardai said.
Witnesses told Judge O’Connor they saw the Honda speed through red lights and collide with a Volkswagen Golf driven by Fr McClarey at around 11.30pm.
Garda Brian Masterson said the accused “ran from the car but was arrested close by”, while Fr McClarey was rushed to casualty.
The clergyman, of Corduff Parochial House, spent the next six weeks in hospital and has still not fully recovered.
Judge O’Connor heard that the car thief had family members involved in criminal activity but had no criminal record before he started committing offences last year.
The teenager, who is now in employment, was previously convicted for another hit-and-run after he caused a collision in February 2016.
The car he hit in that incident was driven by a mother whose husband and two young children, aged four and 11, were passengers.
The court was told that he crashed into the family’s Toyota Avensis head-on while overtaking another car in Corduff.
Garda Masterson said no one was injured but the children had been left “traumatised” by the incident.
The teen had also been found guilty of a car theft and driving without insurance last year.
Yesterday, he further admitted to stealing a car in the early hours of March 17 last year and six counts of dangerous driving, as well as not having a licence.
Judge O’Connor handed him a 12-month sentence suspended on condition that he does not re-offend in the next year.
A driving ban of seven years duration was also imposed.