Teenager admits killing passenger during police chase

The scene of the collision on Saintfield Road . Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
The scene of the collision on Saintfield Road . Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press

A teenager has admitted killing his back-seat passenger and injuring an elderly nun by dangerous driving when he was being chased by police.

After the public gallery was cleared at Downpatrick Crown Court, defence QC Neil Rafferty asked for all charges to be put to the 17-year-old again.

The case was heard at Downpatrick Court

The case was heard at Downpatrick Court

Standing outside the dock flanked by prison officers with his mother and grandmother just a few feet away the teenager, who cannot be identified because of his age, said “guilty” to the six charges against him.

He confessed to causing the death of Conal Daly, an 18-year-old from north Belfast, and causing grievous bodily injury to Josephine McAteer, a nun in her 70s, by driving dangerously on the Saintfield Road on October 16, 2014.

The teenage killer driver also pleaded guilty to driving dangerously on the Ormeau Road and Saintfield Road, two counts of assaulting police and a final count of causing criminal damage to a PSNI vehicle.

The charges arise after the Jaguar car the teenager was driving ploughed into the VW Polo being driven by 75-year-old Sister McAteer.

While she is understood to have sustained two broken legs in the impact Mr Daly, a former pupil at Edmund Rice College and who was in the back seat of the Jaguar, was fatally injured.

Paramedics had treated him at the scene and rushed him to the Royal Victoria Hospital but he tragically succumbed to his injuries a short time later.

It was reported at the time the PSNI had been in pursuit of the “runaround” Jaguar from the roundabout at the top of the Ormeau Road when the chase came to a fatal end just a few miles up the road.

In court on Wednesday Mr Rafferty said he would be giving a report on the defendant’s mental health to the probation service to assist them with their report.

Remanding the teenager back into custody, Judge Piers Grant provisionally listed the sentencing hearing on June 24, depending if reports are ready, adding that while it “may be academic,” the killer driver was now automatically banned from driving.