Northern Ireland

Killer driver freed after admitting more car charges

A driver who served a previous jail sentence for the manslaughter of a policeman was freed from court after admitting further driving offences.

Charles Pollock, 35, from Glenalina Road, west Belfast, was given 18 months' probation on Tuesday.

A judge at Belfast Crown Court said he had already served the equivalent of a 21-month sentence on remand.

But he warned him that if he breached his probation order, he should be in no doubt about the consequences.

Earlier the judge heard how Pollock sped away from police officers after they spotted him driving a car at Broadway Roundabout, Belfast, driving at up to 70mph on the Whiterock Road and overtaking a car on the brow of a hill on 8 April 2009.

He was arrested on 25 November 2009 in Crumlin. At that time, he denied he was driving and claimed police were trying to set him up on false charges.

However, when Pollock pleaded guilty to two charges of driving while disqualified, dangerous driving and driving without insurance in June, he publicly apologised in open court to the investigating officers.

A prosecution lawyer told the court on Tuesday that among his 39 criminal offences, Pollock had been convicted for the manslaughter of a police officer on 19 August 2000.

He had been high on a cocktail of drink and drugs and trying to get away from police who were following him when he hit RUC Reserve Constable Norman Thompson, 49, a father of two.

In court on Tuesday, a defence lawyer said that it was clear from reports that Pollock was trying to change his ways and had not had a drink since he was arrested on these charges.

The judge also banned Pollock from driving for ten years, to run concurrently with the ban that he is already serving until 2022.