Northern Ireland

Kieran Callaghan from Divis refused bail after motoring charges

High Court
Image caption Kieran Callaghan, 19, was refused bail at the High Court in Belfast

A Belfast man charged with a spate of motoring offences has been refused bail at the High Court.

The court was told Kieran Callaghan, 19, was "believed to be a member of a well-known group of youths who hang around the Divis area, and who are involved in car crime".

Mr Callaghan from McDonnell Street, Divis, west Belfast, has been charged with two sets of offences.

A crown prosecutor claimed the second set was committed while he was on bail.

Mr Callaghan has been charged with a series of offences carried out in east Belfast in April.

The offences include interfering with a vehicle, theft and obstructing police.

The second set of offences are alleged to have happened in October.

The charges levelled against Mr Callaghan include aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident in north Belfast.

A crown prosecutor told the court that police in east Belfast received a report in April of three men breaking into a BMW.

When officers attended the address, they noticed several cars in the area had been targeted.

Officers subsequently located three men in the Belmont Park area, two of whom were hiding in bushes.

The court heard one of the men, Mr Callaghan, was wearing clothes matching the description given to police by witnesses.

'Mobile phone'

The court heard when he was searched, a bag containing £465 in cash was located and it emerged that this has been stolen from the glove compartment of another vehicle.

Following his arrest and detention, Mr Callaghan was granted bail.

However, on 14 October he is alleged to have been the driver of a Ford Escort that was chased at speeds of up to 70mph in the Crumlin Road area of Belfast.

At around 16:10 GMT, the car lost control in the Woodvale Road area and hit a parked car.

The court heard a man walking out of Woodvale Park with his two young grandchildren had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck.

The driver of the car ran off in the direction of the Springfield Road.

A Nike Air Max shoe was left in the footwell of the Ford Escort, while a mobile phone was also found in the abandoned vehicle.

A witness later told police he saw a male running along Ainsworth Pass wearing only one shoe.

The crown prosecutor said Mr Callaghan was linked to the scene via DNA taken from the shoe and also from a fingerprint recovered from the Ford Escort.

One of the contacts on the mobile phone also bore the same name as a tattoo on Mr Callaghan's arm. The Crown believe this is his girlfriend.

The prosecutor also said there was CCTV footage of the Ford Escort being pursued up the Crumlin Road at speed, as well as CCTV footage taken from a Translink bus that shows the vehicle losing control and crashing into the car parked in the Woodvale area.

The judge refused the application to grant bail.

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