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Ballymena man in head-on collision after driving wrong way on M2 motorway was 'off his head', court told

By Alan Erwin

Published 01/04/2016

David Shields (35) caused a crash on the M2 where the other driver had to be cut from the wreckage in December 2014, prosecutors claimed.
David Shields (35) caused a crash on the M2 where the other driver had to be cut from the wreckage in December 2014, prosecutors claimed.

A man accused of seriously injuring another motorist in a head-on collision by driving the wrong way on a Belfast motorway said he was "off his head", the High Court heard today.

David Shields (35) caused a crash on the M2 where the other driver had to be cut from the wreckage in December 2014, prosecutors claimed.

Earlier the same night he allegedly rammed a car so hard at traffic lights that a father behind the wheel clashed heads with his daughter in the passenger seat.

Shields later discharged himself from hospital and was wanted by police for months before being arrested last week as he exited prison in an unrelated case.

The accused, of Dunclug Gardens in Ballymena, Co Antrim, is charged with causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving and a further count of dangerous driving.

Refusing bail, a judge said his alleged offences posed a serious risk to the public.

The court heard claims he was driving a Ford Transit that deliberately rammed into a car three times at traffic lights on the Knockbreda dual carriageway on December 5.

Twenty minutes later the same van went onto the M2 in the wrong direction heading out of Belfast.

It collided head-on with another vehicle travelling towards the city from Carrickfergus, shattering that driver's pelvis and inflicting serious head injuries.

Conor Maguire, prosecuting, said police believe if impact had occurred on the driver's side the accident could have been fatal.

Both men were taken to hospital, but Shields left three days later.

He had been sought by police after failing to attend for voluntary interview in April last year, and was detained at the prison gates last week.

During questioning he claimed to only have some recollection of the motoring incident.

"He said it was vague as he was 'off his head'," Mr Maguire told the court.

The barrister also disclosed that Shields claimed to suffer from a psychosis.

Defence counsel accepted the accused has little memory of events surrounding the collision.

He also acknowledged that photographs of the crash scene shown in court were "traumatic and dramatic".

But he questioned why police waited four months to circulate Shields as wanted.

Denying bail, however, Mrs Justice Keegan cited concerns that the accused of commit further offences or flee.

She said: "This type of behaviour on a public road in a vehicle which can become a dangerous object is clearly not acceptable and poses a serious risk to the public."

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