An unlicensed teen driver who got into an accident while at the wheel without the permission of the owner of a car will know his fate next week, after the court receives a social inquiry report.
On Monday, at the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown, Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche asked that the report be completed after the teen said that he is 16 years old and in form 2.
Generally, a 16-year-old student will be in his final year of secondary school, with form 2 students being an average of 13 years old.
iWitness News is withholding the name of the teen and of the owner and registration number of the vehicle, pending the findings of the social inquiry report.
The teen pleaded guilty to a charge that last Friday, Sept. 13, at Stoney Ground, he drove a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or any other lawful authority.
He also pleaded guilty to charges that he drove the vehicle without being the holder of a driving permit; using the vehicle without there being in force a policy of insurance in respect of third party risk in respect of the user of the said vehicle; and that he drove the vehicle without due care and attention.
The court heard that the owner of the vehicle operates a carwash and parked the vehicle at the business place around 6 p.m. and went into Kingstown to conduct business.
The owner left the keys inside the vehicle.
Around 9:30 p.m., the owner was on his way back to the business place when he got information that his car had gotten into an accident at Largo Height.
The owner went to the scene where he met police officers from the traffic branch.
Police took the teen into custody and he gave a statement admitting to the charges.
In court on Monday, the teen was asked if he had anything to say on his behalf, and he shook his head and said no.
“These are very serious charges. They carry jail time,” Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne told the teen.
On further questioning by Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche, the teen told the court that he sometimes assists the business owner at the car wash.
When the teen said he was 16 and in Form 2, Delplesche asked him what year he enrolled in secondary school and he said he could not recall.
Delplesche noted the teen’s “tender age”, but added, “As we say, we have to nip it in the bud.
“If he is 16 years old and in form 2, something is wrong,” Delplesche said and asked that the matter be stood down, adding that a social inquiry is needed.
When the matter was recalled, the prosecutor made a formal application for a social inquiry report ahead of sentencing.
The chief magistrate ordered that the report be prepared in time for the next hearing in the matter — on Sept. 23.
Delplesche did not object to bail for the teen but asked for sufficient surety.
The youth was granted EC$5,000 bail with one surety and was able to secure that surety ahead of the court’s adjournment on Monday.