Man remanded in custody after 40-mile police pursuit

The PSNI helicopter was deployed during the episode.

The PSNI helicopter was deployed during the episode.

A man was remanded in custody yesterday charged with motoring offences linked to a police pursuit from Belfast to Newry.

James Maughan, 36, was arrested after the PSNI helicopter and trained drivers tracked a Renault Scenic for up to 40 miles after it failed to stop on the Falls Road on Wednesday afternoon.

The car also allegedly reversed into a police vehicle causing damage and injury to two officers before heading out of the city and travelling across country.

The pursuit ended when a stinger device was deployed to bring the Scenic to a halt just outside Newry.

Maughan, of no fixed address, appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court to face a total of 14 charges connected to the incident.

They include dangerous driving on Belfast’s Ligoniel Road, failing to stop, report or remain at the scene of an accident causing injury, and criminal damage to a PSNI vehicle.

He is also accused of driving while disqualified and without insurance.

No further details of the alleged incident were disclosed during the brief hearing.

Maughan spoke only to confirm he understood the charges against him.

A PSNI constable said she could connect him to all the alleged offences.

Defence solicitor Adrian Harvey put no questions to the officer and confirmed he was not seeking bail.

He also disclosed that his client was only released from custody last month.

Dstrict Judge Fiona Bagnall remanded Maughan in custody to appear again by video-link on March 3.