A MAN is accused of endangering the life of a police sergeant who was injured after a patrol car was badly damaged after allegedly being rammed off the road during a motorway pursuit.
Thomas McCloskey (19), of Coolnasallagh Road near Dungiven, is charged in relation to the M22 motorway near Antrim in relation to Saturday April 25 last year.
The case was marked as a first appearance at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, this week and the defendant faces 23 charges.
One charge is causing criminal damage to an Audi AG car belonging to PSNI Steeple ‘intending to damage such property or being reckless as to whether such property would be damaged and being reckless as to whether the life of’ a police sergeant ‘was endangered’.
Other charges include dangerous driving; causing criminal damage to two police vehicles; using a vehicle in a dangerous condition; failing to stop, remain and report a collision; being a learner driver on a motorway; exceeding a 70mph speed limit and driving a BMW without insurance.
The defendant was not before the court nor on a video link.
A police officer said she believed she could connect the defendant to the charges.
A defence barrister said he had no issues with the defendant being connected to the charges.
A prosecutor said a file has “just been allocated to a senior prosecutor” and she asked for an adjournment.
No further details were given to the court.
The case was adjourned to July.
At the time of an incident last year police posted a picture of a badly damaged patrol car on social media and said a police officer was treated in hospital “for extensive whiplash injuries” after a car which “failed to stop for police, rammed a patrol vehicle, during a pursuit”.
A police statement at the time said: “At around 5.20pm a blue BMW was detected travelling at excessive speed on the M22 by a PSNI Road Policing and Safety patrol. The vehicle was signalled to stop but made off from officers.
“A pursuit of the vehicle, by a fully trained pursuit driver, was then authorised. The driver of the BMW continued to try to evade police before ramming his vehicle into the police car, forcing it off the carriageway. The male police driver was subsequently treated in hospital for extensive whiplash injuries.
“The BMW was then abandoned in a layby on the Moneynick Road and the driver is believed to have made off on foot across nearby fields towards the Staffordstown Road”.