Motorist claims he felt ‘threatened’ and was trying to flee before crashing car in Ballymena’s Ballykeel Two estate

A MOTORIST who claimed he was trying to flee after feeling “threatened” then attempted to speed off from police in Ballymena’s Ballykeel Two estate before crashing into a vehicle.

Gary Humphreys (33), with an address given as Waveney Mews in Ballymena, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court sitting in Antrim on Thursday, where he was jailed for three months and banned from the road for seven years.

He pleaded guilty to a number or charges relating to June 30 this year including driving whilst disqualified; failing to stop for police at Orkney Drive; absence of insurance; aggravated taking and causing damage to a vehicle and aggravated vehicle taking involving causing damage to another car.

A prosecutor said that at 11.40pm on the date in question police were on patrol in Orkney Drive and observed the defendant pull out and despite officers activating blue lights and sirens Humphreys failed to stop.

The prosecutor said the defendant “took off at speed” narrowly missing parked cars and the vehicle’s boot appeared to be open as it sped over ramps.

The prosecutor said the vehicle – a Peugeot 307 – went to Crebilly Road before going back into the Ballykeel estate and skidding into a parked Citroen causing damage.

The prosecutor said Humphreys originally denied he was driving and said a friend who ran from the scene had been behind the wheel.

A defence lawyer said the defendant is originally from the Largy Road area of Portglenone and had been in custody since June 30.

The lawyer said the defendant and a friend were in a property in a location he was unfamiliar with “and things turned pretty nasty and he felt threatened by the individuals, who he didn’t know, who were in the house”.

The lawyer said Humphreys took the keys of his friend’s car as he “just wanted to get out of the area”.

The court heard that thankfully no one else was injured in the collision and that the defendant has now accepted his responsibility.

District Judge Peter King said the defendant had an “appalling record” and jailed him for three months along with a seven year long ban from getting behind the wheel.

  • Court story by Ballymena Daily.

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