Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Police officer in pursuit had “no choice” but to produce gun

A PSNI officer had “no choice” but to produce his gun during a pursuit as police attempted to apprehend a woman who was observed driving dangerously, a court has heard.

Maria Davidson (39) of Carraig Place, Silverbridge appeared before Newry Magistrates Court last week where she pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without insurance and a valid test certificate and driving while disqualified.

The court heard that on February 26th at 4.15pm, a police patrol on the Blayney Road in Crossmaglen observed the defendant driving a black Toyota Avensis.  It was said that Davidson “looked shocked” to see the police officers and attempted to evade them as they put on their blue lights.  She swerved across the road, which was busy “with a lot of pedestrians about”, and made off as police lost sight of her vehicle.  The patrol car then caught up with the defendant and overtook, forcing her to stop.  As one of the officers approached her car, Davidson drove towards him, leaving him with “no choice but to take out his firearm”, it was reported.

She was then arrested and admitted to “certain matters but not driving dangerously”.

Davidson’s defense solicitor stated his client had “no business being in the car” and “panicked when she saw police”.

Noting that Davidson’s record “is all motoring”, District Judge Eamon King imposed a three-month jail term, suspended for two years for driving while disqualified, and fines of £200 each for the offences of dangerous driving and driving without insurance.  She was further fined £75 for having no vehicle test certificate and must pay a £15 offenders levy.