Court hears police called off 90mph pursuit of driver in County Antrim because of 'risk'

Court hears police called off 90mph pursuit of driver in County Antrim because of 'risk'

POLICE called off a pursuit of a driver "due to the risk involved" after an Audi flagged as being uninsured sped off, reaching speeds estimated at up to 90mph, Ballymena Magistrates Court was told.

William Jake Stewart (22), with addresses listed on charge sheet as Ard-na-maine, Cullybackey, admitted dangerous driving and absence of insurance in relation to 9.30pm on March 12 last year.

A prosecutor said police saw the Audi turn into Clarence Street in Ballymena and when their system flagged up an insurance offence they attempted to stop the vehicle.

Upon seeing police the car mounted a footpath.

Police activated lights and sirens and gave chase towards Cullybackey for around 1.5 miles but then quit the pursuit as it was perceived to be too risky.

Officers saw the car perform a dangerous overtake, where other vehicles had to brake to avoid a collision.

When the car was found in Cullybackey, Stewart approached and told police he had been driving.

In another incident, he also admitted causing a vehicle to remain at rest on a road 'in such circumstances as to cause danger'.

That related to April 13 this year at Carndale Meadow, Ballymena, when he "forgot" to apply the handbrake correctly and the car had rolled into an "open plan" nearby garden.

Nobody was injured.

Regarding the dangerous driving, defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine said it had been "out of character" for the defendant but he "held his hands up" to the offences.

District Judge Nigel Broderick handed down a three months prison sentence, suspended for a year; banned the defendant from driving for a year and there was also a £150 fine.

The judge said said the defendant could have killed someone during the dangerous driving incident.