An alleged burglar used his granny’s mobility car in a 100 mph high speed pursuit, a court heard on Monday.
Antrim Magistrates Court heard that as police chased the small Hyundai car from Antrim to Belfast along the M2 following a burglary in Portglenone, cigarettes, tobacco and clothes were flung out of window as the alleged culprits fled.
Detective Constable Ford told the court that background checks showed the car was registered as a mobility car belonging to the grandmother of 28-year-old Jamie Gary William Boyle who was charged with the incident.
Boyle, from Canadahar Lodge in Belfast, faces three charges that he burgled the Eurospar shop on Main Street in Portglenone in the early hours of Sunday morning, dangerous driving at various locations between Ballymena and Belfast and that he failed to stop when asked to do so by police.
DC Ford, who told the court he believed he could connect Boyle to each of the charges, outlined how officers responded to an alarm being triggered at the Eurospar shop after a gas cylinder was thrown through the front window before burglars stole £600 in cash and around £3,000 of cigarettes and tobacco and sped away in a small White Hyundai car.
The high speed pursuit began when officers from traffic branch spotted a similar car driving along the M2 motorway towards Belfast but the officers told the court that 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.
He said while the top speed of the chase was noted in the “command and control log” to be 114 mph, “it was regularly in excess of 100 mph.”
Boyle, who was allegedly the driver, was arrested when he stopped the car in the Dee Street area of east Belfast and tried to flee on foot but his passenger managed to make good his escape.
During police questioning, DC Ford said Boyle admitted involvement in the burglary but claimed that he was “acting under pressure” from more sinister elements, a claim not accepted by the police and the officer revealed 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.
Objecting to the bail application , the officer said police feared that if released Boyle would interfere with the investigation as cops are still actively hunting his alleged accomplice and that “he may well become involved in this type of activity again”.
Under cross examination he agreed the main focus of the investigation would be forensic examinations of the recovered items and his grandmothers car, which has already been impounded, and that given reports in the media, Boyles accomplice would already know he is being sought.
The solicitor submitted that fully qualified baker Boyle could be released on bail given his clear record.
Granting the application, District Judge Alan White released Boyle on his own bail of £300 with a surety of £500, ordered him to observe a curfew from 10pm to 7am except when is working and barred him from entering Draperstown, Bellaghy and Portglenone and from being in a private car except for going to work or court.
He ordered Boyle to come back to court on May 1.