The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard that a 16-year-old boy was knocked down and killed by a car driven by an unaccompanied learner driver who was speeding and had a faulty braking system.

Gareth Jones, 22, from Mellows Park in Finglas, pleaded guilty to careless driving causing the death of Paul McCormack at Tolka Valley Road in Finglas in June last year.

He will be sentenced next week.

The court was told that Paul was crossing the road with friends that night when a car approached them. One of his friends described the car as "going flat out" as it travelled over speed ramps.

Three of the friends ran across the road but Paul turned back and was hit by the car as it swerved to avoid his friends.

His head hit the windscreen and he died later in hospital from a catastrophic brain injury.

Garda crash investigators said the car was travelling at around 70km/h in a 50km/h zone.

When it hit Paul, the car was travelling at around 61km/h. The car also had a fault with its anti-lock braking system which would have hampered the driver's ability to steer when the brakes were applied suddenly.

The court was told that Jones, who was 20 at the time, was a provisional licence holder and while he had a friend in the car with him, the friend did not have a full driving licence.

He told gardaí he saw the group of boys crossing the road and went to move around them when one turned back. Gardaí said he had not applied the brakes until Paul had turned back in the middle of the road.

A letter from Paul’s family read to the court described how he was "intelligent, bubbly and full of life and energy". It said the incident had "ripped the family apart" and they could not come to terms with him being gone.

"The collision has left a void that can't be filled," it said.

In the letter, his mother said: "Dear Baby Paul, you were a son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend. I remember when you were born, at 1am in the hospital when I was giving you your bottle. It was the most peaceful moment ever. You grew over the years and brought so much happiness...that night the accident turned our lives upside down. As time goes by the pain has got worse, every time we look in your room or hear your favourite songs.

"I keep waiting for you to come up the garden path, joking with the neighbours as you always did, looking for you in a crowd of friends. We hope to meet you again our precious baby. You were so talented and had plans to go places."

Defence counsel Michael Bowman told the court his client was extremely remorseful for and fully acknowledged the "enormous grief" he had caused to the McCormack family.

He said at all times he had fully accepted responsibility and he and his family had written letters of apology to Paul's family.

Mr Bowman said at the time Jones's car had a full valid NCT and he could not have been aware of the problem with the anti-lock braking system. He said there was no drink or drugs involved and his client had never been in trouble before.

On the night of the accident he said his client saw the boys crossing and presumed it was safe to move across the road to pass them, when one of them turned back.

He said at no stage did Jones shirk from his responsibility and had stayed at the scene and rang the emergency services. He had repeatedly said he was sorry while at the scene and stayed there despite some anger being directed at him from a crowd that had gathered.

Mr Bowman said Jones was fully cooperative at all times.

His understanding that he had caused the death of someone had caused him some psychological issues and may need counselling in the future, Mr Bowman said.

He said Jones was a "young man who was part of an enormous tragedy for all concerned." He said the tragedy could never be repaired by anything he could do.

He said he was in full time employment and came from an extremely decent family who were fully supportive of him.

The incident had affected his whole family who were very cognisant of the loss suffered by the McCormack family. A probation report assessed him as being at low risk of reoffending due to a number of factors such as his work record and his supportive family and an absence of any history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Judge Melanie Greally said there was a lot to consider in the case and said she will pass sentence on Friday next week.