Northern Ireland

Driver that crashed into film crew jailed for more than two years

A car crashed into a fence Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption One victim of the crash suffered paralysis and now requires a wheelchair

A man who crashed his car into a film crew in Belfast has been jailed for more than two years.

Hugh McGrattan, 25, from Whiterock Drive in Belfast, admitted five counts of causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving.

McGrattan lost control of his car and crashed into a group that was shooting a documentary in November 2015.

One victim suffered paralysis from the chest down and now requires a wheelchair.

Four other members of the film crew were also injured.

McGrattan was sentenced to two years and four months in prison, with the same amount of time to be served on licence.

Image caption Hugh McGrattan was jailed for more than two years

He was also fined £50 and disqualified from driving for five years.

The collision happened on the Apollo Road, just off Boucher Road, where the speed limit is 30mph.

McGrattan's car collided with a group of up to 15 people who were on a footpath.

The group was filming a programme for Irish national broadcaster RTÉ.

Image caption The crash happened on the Apollo Road, just off the Boucher Road

The court was previously told that CCTV footage showed McGrattan driving at a "grossly excessive" speed of between 52mph and 69mph in the moments before the crash.

It had also heard that McGrattan admitted at the scene that he had been speeding and told a police officer that he thought he was going to "tip over".

On Tuesday, the court was told that McGrattan had shown remorse, but had also said victims share some of the responsibility.

It heard that the defendant had told a probation officer that there should have been signs in place alerting him to their presence.

The judge, when sentencing, said she took McGrattan's remorse into consideration but that a prison sentence was appropriate because of the impact on the victims.

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