Northern Ireland

M1 crash: Man charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment

Traffic camera of M1
Image caption The incident caused long tailbacks on the M1 motorway on Friday morning

A 29-year-old man has appeared in court in Newry charged with the kidnap, false imprisonment and assault of a woman in County Down, before a crash on the M1 near Belfast.

Jonathan White, of Deerfin Park, Newtownabbey, County Antrim, was charged with assault causing ABH.

He also faced charges of going equipped for burglary and possession of class C drugs.

The charges relate to incidents in Hilltown, Katesbridge and Banbridge.

A prosecution counsel told Banbridge Magistrates' Court sitting in Newry that the kidnap charges related to an incident on Friday.

The defendant is alleged to have driven past a 35-year-old woman outside a shop in Hilltown.

It was alleged that Mr White offered the woman a lift in a silver car before dragging her through the driver's side door and punching her in the face.

A short time later the vehicle was said to have been stuck in the mud of a field in Katesbridge.

The court heard a man approached and offered help with his tractor.

On approach to the car, the witness is said to have seen the woman who began to scream and shout.

The court heard the witness told police that the driver then ran from the scene. The woman was removed from the car and taken to hospital for her injuries.

The court heard that Mr White was also alleged to have stolen car number plates and charity cash boxes from premises including the Maple Leaf in Katesbridge on Thursday, 5 March.

He is also alleged to have taken a silver 4x4 vehicle on Friday, which was involved in a crash later that day.

The 4x4 was reported as travelling against traffic on the wrong side of the road, before crashing into several vehicles.

Mr White was arrested a short distance away from the scene and taken to Banbridge PSNI station. He was also found to be in breach of a High Court condition from 18 February.

A PSNI Detective Constable said she could connect the accused to the charges.

A judge remanded Mr White into custody to appear before Banbridge Magistrates on 2 April by video link.