A man who sped off from police on three occasions who has four driving while disqualified and nine no insurance convictions has been jailed for four months and banned from the road for two years.
Ruairi McGlade (30), whose adddress was listed as Townhill Road between Rasharkin and Portglenone but who has links to the Portstewart area – appeared in the dock at Coleraine Magistrates Court.
He pleaded guilty to a number of offences including driving whilst disqualified; absence of insurance; MOT and licence offences and driving without care and attention; taking a vehicle without authority and failing to stop for police.
In August 2017 police detected that a Citroen Xsara parked at Church Street in Kilrea was uninsured and when they followed the vehicle and put their sirens on the vehicle made off at speed along the Blackrock Road which at stages was only a single lane width and had hill crests.
The vehicle failed to stop at a junction and pulled out in front of a car before McGlade did come to a halt at the Hill Head Road and smoke was coming from the car.
In November last year police spoke to McGlade, who was in a Volkswagen Jetta, at a vehicle checkpoint at 11.40pm at Castle Street in Ballymoney and when he was asked to pull in he made as if to do so but then sped off onto the Mullan Road.
The court heard that police followed but that due to the head start and the speed of the vehicle they did not locate him.
On December 17 last year police saw McGlade in the same vehicle in the Rasharkin area and when officers turned to follow him he made off at speed along the Moneyleck Road and officers lost sight of him. He was eventually arrested on December 22.
A defence lawyer said the defendant’s mother drowned in a tragic incident at the River Bann last year which had a “profound effect” on him.
He said the defendant had full-time employment and handed in a “glowing reference” from his employer.
District Judge Liam McNally told McGlade he had told him at a previous court that if he committed any further offences he would be sending himself to prison but yet he had gone out and driven whilst disqualified and without insurance again.
He told the defendant: “You have committed yourself to prison”.