Northern Ireland

Police pursuit driver remanded in custody

Newry car chase Image copyright
Image caption The car was chased from west Belfast to near Newry

A man has been remanded in custody after being chased by police in a lengthy cross-country pursuit from Belfast to Newry on Wednesday.

A PSNI helicopter and trained drivers tracked James Maughan's Renault Scenic for up to 40 miles after it failed to stop on the Falls Road.

The car allegedly reversed into a police vehicle causing damage and injury to two officers.

He appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court charged with motoring offences.

The cross-county pursuit ended when a stinger device was deployed to bring the car to a halt just outside Newry.

Maughan, of no fixed address, appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court to face a total of 14 charges connected to the incident.

They include dangerous driving on Belfast's Ligoniel Road, failing to stop, report or remain at the scene of an accident causing injury, and criminal damage to a PSNI vehicle.

When are police stingers used?

Stingers can be deployed by police officers after drivers fail to stop when required to do so - resulting in a pursuit.

They are used only by trained officers after authorisation from a senior officer managing the pursuit.

Officers must conduct a thorough risk assessment before beginning a pursuit, considering factors including the potential risk to road users, the seriousness of the suspected offence, and whether immediate action is necessary.

Stingers can be used in the interests of safety and to bring about a swift resolution.

Source: Association of Chief Police Officers

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stingers are used by police to burst the tyres of vehicles, usually when they are being driven by suspected criminals

Maughan is also accused of driving while disqualified and without insurance.

During a brief hearing, the 36-year-old spoke only to confirm he understood the charges against him.

A PSNI constable said she could connect him to all the alleged offences.

A defence solicitor put no questions to the officer and confirmed his client was not seeking bail.

He also disclosed that his client was only released from custody last month.

Maughan was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link on 3 March.

Image copyright
Image caption The car was stopped by police using a stinger device

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