An alleged drink driver hit speeds of up to 114mph along unlit country roads during a 16-mile police chase before the tyres of the vehicle were burst by a police ‘stinger’ device, Coleraine Magistrates Court heard on Monday.
Shane Patrick Anthony Brolly (22), a joiner of Hass Park in Dungiven, then ran off and tried to hide in fields before being located with the help of a police helicopter which had been drafted in.
A prosecutor said police received a report in the early hours of Sunday June 23 of a suspected drink driver “all over the road” at Mosside between Ballycastle and Coleraine.
Police located the vehicle – a Toyota Avensis – in the area of Strand Road roundabout in Coleraine and drew alongside it and signalled for the driver to stop.
After indicating he would pull in, the driver sped off with police in pursuit using sirens and flashing lights.
Objecting to bail, a police officer said Brolly drove at speeds of up to 114mph along Dunhill Road, Cashel Road and Belraugh Road in the Macosquin and Ringsend areas and onto the Legavallon Road towards Dungiven.
The officer said parts of the roads were in “total darkness” and other vehicles were present.
A ‘stinger’ device was deployed bursting the two front tyres of the vehicle making it come to a “controlled stop”, the officer said.
Brolly then exited the vehicle and ran into a field before a police helicopter located him lying face down trying to hide.
The vehicle belonged to Brolly’s father.
Brolly was taken to Coleraine Police Station and gave an alcohol in breath reading of 50 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35mcgs.
The court heard there had been an arrest warrant for Brolly dating back to 2016 and when police had called at his address they were “incorrectly informed” he had emigrated to Australia.
In relation to the weekend police chase, Brolly was charged with dangerous driving; failing to stop for police; using a vehicle without insurance; failing to provide a preliminary breath specimen; driving with excess alcohol in his breath and aggravated taking a vehicle without the consent of the owner.
A defence lawyer said the defendant would be pleading guilty to charges related to the case.
The solicitor said Brolly had no previous convictions for driving offences.
He said it was disputed that Brolly had not gone to Australia, but that he had been there for a few months.
District Judge Liam McNally said he noted the defendant was accepting he was guilty of offences and refused bail.
The judge said there was every possibility the defendant would not turn up for court as he had failed to answer police bail in 2016 and then failed to attend court that year.
When approached by police on Sunday he had done his “very best” to try and get away.
Not only had Brolly driven at very fast speeds but he tried to hide in a field, the judge said.
The defendant was remanded in custody and the case adjourned to late July.