Northern Ireland

Killer driver facing more motoring charges

A driver who was previously jailed for the manslaughter of a police officer has pleaded guilty to more driving offences.

Charles Pollock, 36, pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to two counts of driving while disqualified and two of driving without insurance on 8 April and 25 November 2009.

Pollock, from the Glenalina Road in west Belfast, also admitted a further charge of driving dangerously on the Whiterock Road on 8 April 2009.

No details of the charges were heard in court but defence lawyer Declan Quinn told the Recorder of Belfast Judge Tom Burgess that Pollock now accepted police were not out to get him and wished to apologise to them.

The lawyer revealed that when arrested and during police interviews, Pollock claimed officers were acting in "bad faith" and were essentially trying to frame him for something he had not done.

With the arresting officers sat just feet away from the dock, Judge Burgess asked Pollock if he now withdrew his "scurrilous" allegations and apologised to them to which Pollock replied: "yes."

In August 2000, Pollock was high on a cocktail of drink and drugs and trying to get away from pursuing police when he ploughed into 49-year-old RUC Reserve Constable Norman Thompson.

The father-of-two had just stepped out onto Kennedy Way to throw a stinger device under the wheels of Pollock's car in an effort to blow out the tyres and end the chase.

Pollock however ploughed into the officer, knocking him into the air and into a lamppost before driving on.

At the end of his second trial, Pollock was convicted of murdering Constable Thompson by a majority verdict of ten to two and was jailed for a minimum of ten years with a 20-year driving ban.

However the Court of Appeal later quashed that conviction and jailed Pollock for 12 years for the manslaughter of the officer, a charge to which he had pleaded guilty.

Judge Burgess released Pollock on continuing bail and adjourned passing sentence until the new term in September when pre-sentence probation reports will have been compiled.