'Car thieves' remanded over police chase

Published Thursday, 30 January 2014
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Two alleged so-called 'joy-riders' have been remanded into custody after a high-speed police pursuit in west Belfast.

'Car thieves' remanded over police chase
Cochrane and McAleese were remanded into custody. (© UTV)

Appearing separately in the dock of Lisburn Magistrates' Court, Daniel Cochrane and Ryan McAleese, both 23, were each charged with three offences including aggravated vehicle theft and dangerous driving causing injury and damage.

Cochrane, from Sunnyhill Park in west Belfast, faces further charges that he drove without a licence or insurance, failed to provide a specimen of breath, failed to stop, remain or report after the collision and drove while unfit.

A detective constable told the court she believed she could connect the defendants to the charges and during failed bail applications, claimed that Cochrane was the driver of the stolen Citreon C5 car while McAleese was a passenger.

The charges arise after the vehicle had been reported as stolen from a filling station in the Stewartstown Road area on Tuesday afternoon.

A stinger device was used on the car which was subsequently abandoned in Suffolk Court but two police officers sustained injuries after the stolen car reversed into the police vehicle at speed although they did not require hospital treatment.

On Thursday the officer outlined how Cochrane was detained at the scene and McAleese was arrested a short time later.

Objecting to bail, the officer said police feared that if released Cochrane and McAleese would reoffend and that McAleese would fail to turn up for court appearances.

She submitted that essentially Cochrane was "caught red-handed".

Although McAleese's solicitor claimed that he did not know the car was stolen and that he was an "innocent passenger," District Judge Rosemary Watters said that given his background "that is very hard to accept".

The solicitor revealed that McAleese had also been traumatised by the death of his friend Ivan Foden who died when a stolen car crashed.

Refusing the bail application however on the grounds of potential reoffending, Judge Watters commented that his was a "wasted life".

"You would think would you not that his friends would think that he died as a result of doing a stupid thing and they might learn something from it," declared the judge.

Both McAleese, from Penbrook Manor, also in west Belfast and Cochrane were remanded into custody to appear again via videolink on 24 February.

© UTV News
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1 Comments
Observer in Online wrote (212 days ago):
Scum - Belfast would be safer if the judge gives them a good long sentence instead of the usual pathetic slap on the wrist that seems to pass for justice now.
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