‘Young and dumb’ teenager shown leniency

A “young and dumb” teenager involved in a police chase on a stolen bike was shown leniency in court yesterday after he promised to turn his life around.

Shae Hassell, 19, was spared a $1,970 fine, and given a two-year conditional discharge and 95 hours of community service instead at Magistrates’ Court.

Hassell, from Sandys, pleaded guilty on October 25 last year to theft of a motorcycle, dangerous driving, failure to stop for police, speeding, and riding without a licence.

He was due to be sentenced on January 13 after a social inquiry report, but he did not return for sentence until yesterday.

Hassell told the court: “I was young and dumb at the time and I was going through a part of my life that I’m not proud of. I want to make a change for the better.”

Police caught Hassell riding at 77km/h — more than double the 35km/h speed limit — while they carried out speed checks near Turtle Place in Southampton on February 11 last year.

Police signalled to him to stop, but Hassell, who had a pillion passenger, made a U-turn on to Middle Road through Scenic Heights Road.

He continued along Middle Road and made another U-turn near Khyber Pass, Warwick, where his passenger fell off.

Hassell continued west through Middle Road. He overtook other vehicles, rode on the wrong side of the road and forced motorists to swerve to avoid a collision.

He lost control of the motorcycle in the car park of Arnold’s Maxi Mart Grocery in Southampton and fell to the ground.

Hassell was arrested and treated at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital for injuries to his hand before he was taken to Hamilton Police Station.

Officers later discovered that the motorcycle had been reported stolen on December 24, 2018.

Jonathan White, for the defence, said yesterday that his client was 17 at the time of the offences and asked for his age to be taken into consideration.

He added that his client felt remorse for his actions and that he made “one split-second decision that Mr Hassell, I’m sure, wishes he could take back.”

Mr White said that his client also had plans to further his education and planned to start his own business.

But magistrate Maxanne Anderson told Hassell that he must take more responsibility for himself if he wanted to see results. She added: “They say youth is wasted on the young — prove that saying wrong.”

Ms Anderson ordered Hassell to stay away from drugs and alcohol and take part in drug tests as part of his conditional discharge.

She also ordered him to participate in any programmes ordered by court services and stay away from anyone ruled to be a bad influence.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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