Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Man remanded in custody after dramatic police pursuit

A  man has been remanded in custody charged with a string of motoring offences after leading police on a 40 mile high speed pursuit from Belfast to Newry.

36 year old James Maughan led police on a lengthy pursuit which began on the Falls Road in Belfast shortly after 4pm on Wednesday when the silver coloured Renault Scenic he was driving failed to stop for the PSNI Auto Crime Team.

The Scenic, which was towing a blue trailer, reversed into a police car causing damage and injuring two police officers, before being driven out of Belfast towards Nutts Corner then across country, heading south via Moira and Banbridge.  The vehicle was followed by pursuit trained drivers and the police helicopter, with the operation involving officers from Belfast, Craigavon, Lisburn, Newtownhamilton and Newry.

Police crews eventually managed to launch a stinger device across the road bursting the car’s tyres and a short time later the dramatic pursuit ended on Craigmore Way on the outskirts of Newry.

Maughan, of no fixed address, was arrested at the scene. He appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court on Friday to face a total of 14 charges connected to the incident, including dangerous driving, failing to stop, report or remain at the scene of an accident causing injury, and criminal damage to a PSNI vehicle.

No further details of the incident were disclosed during the brief hearing and Maughan spoke only to confirm that he understood the charges against him.

Bail was not sought and Maughan’s defence solicitor revealed his client had only been released from custody last month.  He was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link on March 3rd.