Northern Ireland

Newtownabbey man 'rammed two police vehicles'

Police car

An alleged car thief shunted a police vehicle 30ft onto a main road during a pursuit in County Down, the High Court in Belfast heard on Monday.

Another PSNI car was rammed as the suspect weaved through traffic at high speed, prosecutors claimed.

Stephen Lyons, 23, of Fairview Road, Newtownabbey, faces 11 charges connected to the alleged car theft.

The judge ruled that he should remain in custody due to the risk of re-offending.

The list of charges against him include aggravated vehicle taking, driving while unfit and while disqualified, dangerous driving, resisting police, criminal damage, and making off without payment.

Mr Lyons was refused bail for what the judge described as "a pretty appalling episode".

The car, stolen from an address in Belfast on New Years' Day, was spotted in Comber the next day with the driver apparently under the influence of drink or drugs, the court heard.

A police vehicle which tracked it after fuel was stolen from a garage in Killinchy was pushed 30ft onto a main road, a prosecuting lawyer said.

Later, it was rammed into the back of a PSNI car which managed to get ahead of it on the Belfast Road.

Mr Lyons and a co-accused were arrested after the alleged thieves ran off.

Stolen number plates, screwdrivers and pliers were recovered from the vehicle.

Mr Lyons denies the charges against him and claimed to have been in the Comber area at the time with friends, the court heard.

But refusing bail, Lord Justice Girvan held that there was a prima facie case against him.

"The defendant is facing a large number of charges arising out of what appears to have been a pretty appalling episode," he said.