Two men charged over Ardoyne stolen car chase crash
Two men have been remanded into custody accused of being in a stolen car involved in a six-vehicle collision in north Belfast.
Ciaran Ferguson, 22, and Caolam Diver, 20, face charges connected to the crash on the Crumlin Road on Tuesday which left seven people needing hospital treatment.
With one man still in a critical condition, police ombudsman investigators are examining the circumstances surrounding the pile-up near the Ardoyne shops.
Both defendants appeared unsteady and visibly injured as they entered the dock at Belfast Magistrates’ Court.
Ferguson, with an address at Oldpark Road in the city, faces a total of 14 counts, including carrying out a burglary at Thirlmere Gardens, taking the Audi A1 involved in the pile-up, dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.
He is also charged with causing grievous bodily injury to two people by dangerous driving – one of them being his co-accused Diver.
Further alleged offences include driving while disqualified, failing to stop for police and possession of class C diazepam drugs.
Diver, of Antrim Road in Belfast, is accused of aggravated vehicle taking causing damage to “several other vehicles and garden walls”, allowing himself to be carried in the stolen Audi, and having diazepam.
Ferguson’s lawyer, Robert Murtagh, told the court his client had been taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital to undergo X-rays and receive stitches before he was assessed as fit for police interviews.
“He’s very emotional,” Mr Murtagh said.
Asked by District Judge Joe Rice how he was feeling now, Ferguson replied: “Not good.”
Allowing the defendant to sit and offering him water, Mr Rice agreed: “No, he doesn’t look good.”
Neither accused sought bail at this stage.
However, Mr Murtagh attempted to secure anonymity around Ferguson’s listed address due to perceived threats.
“There have been messages on Facebook, and a message from the Ardoyne collective community saying people like this should be ostracised and thrown out of the community,” the solicitor said.
Refusing the application, Mr Rice pointed to a lack of evidence to support any threat allegations.
Diver and Ferguson were both remanded in custody to appear again by video-link on July 11 and August 2 respectively.
Meanwhile, an 18-year-old woman charged with aggravated vehicle taking in connection with the same incident is due before Belfast Magistrates’ Court on August 1.