Gran's mobility car in '100mph chase'

Published Monday, 14 April 2014
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A man accused of involvement in a burglary at a shop in Portglenone is alleged to have fled the scene in his grandmother's mobility car - sparking a high-speed chase by police en route to Belfast.

Gran's mobility car in '100mph chase'
The case was heard at Antrim Magistrates Court. (© UTV)

Jamie Gary William Boyle, from Candahar Lodge in Belfast, appeared before Antrim Magistrates' Court on Monday, charged with burglary, dangerous driving and failing to stop for police.

The charges against the 28-year-old arise out of an incident during which a shop was robbed in the early hours of Sunday before the culprits made off in a small, white Hyundai car.

A detective constable told the court that he believed he could connect Boyle to each of the charges.

He outlined how officers had responded to an alarm being triggered at a Eurospar in Portglenone after a gas cylinder was thrown through the window.

Around £3,000 worth of cigarettes, plus £600 in cash, was stolen before the culprits sped off.

The court heard that a vehicle similar to that used in the burglary was spotted by traffic branch on the M2 heading towards Belfast.

But when the car was asked to pull over, the driver and passenger began throwing out "large amounts of tobacco products and clothing" which were all recovered later.

The detective told the court that the top speed of the chase was noted in the command and control log to be 114mph, and that it was "regularly in excess of 100mph".

Boyle, alleged to be the driver, was arrested after the car stopped in the Dee Street area of east Belfast and he tried to flee on foot. The passenger managed to escape from the scene.

The detective further outlined how background checks had shown the car to be a mobility vehicle registered to Boyle's grandmother.

He added that, during police questioning, Boyle admitted involvement in the burglary - but claimed that he was "acting under pressure" from more sinister elements.

Police did not accept that claim and the detective told the court that, at the time of the incident, Boyle was on police bail on suspicion of involvement in four similar offences in Draperstown and Bellaghy in the last four weeks.

The detective, adding that police are actively looking for an alleged accomplice, objected to bail.

However, under cross-examination, he agreed that the main focus of the investigation would be forensic examinations of recovered items and the impounded Hyundai, and that the accomplice would already know that he is being sought.

Boyle's defence solicitor submitted that his client could be released on bail given his clear record.

District Judge Alan White released Boyle on his own bail of £300, with a surety of £500.

He further ordered him to observe a curfew from 10pm to 7am, except when working, and from being in a private car except for travelling to and from work or court.

Boyle is also barred from entering Draperstown, Bellaghy and Portglenone and is due back in court on 1 May.

© UTV News
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