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Driver 'crashed into police cars to obstruct Larne burglary probe', court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 04/10/2016

Humphrys was denied bail.
Humphrys was denied bail.

A balaclava-wearing motorist allegedly crashed into three parked police cars in an attempt to hinder a burglary investigation, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors claimed Alan Humphrys deliberately drove into the vehicles, inflicting injuries on a PSNI sergeant, while on drugs.

A witness said another man who escaped during the incident in Larne, Co Antrim last month had been armed with a gun.

Details emerged on Tuesday as Humphrys was refused bail amid concerns of potential interference with the ongoing police probe.

The 28-year-old, of Churchill Road in the town, faces charges of aggravated vehicle taking causing injury and causing damage to the car.

He is further accused of driving when unfit through drink or drugs, dangerous driving and having no licence or insurance.

The collision occurred as officers investigating a previous burglary were carrying out searches at Killyglen Road on September 19.

A woman at the scene claimed she saw a Hyundai Accent appearing and being deliberately driven at speed into the three parked PSNI cars.

Two men in the Hyundai were both wearing balaclavas and tried to escape after the crash, the court heard.

Stephanie Boyd, prosecuting, said Humphrys had been behind the wheel and was detained at the scene, allegedly sweating heavily and unsteady on his feet.

His passenger managed to flee with a gun, according to the witness.

The injured sergeant was taken to hospital for treatment to severe pain in his back, chest and arm.

Substantial damage was caused to all three PSNI vehicles, Mrs Boyd said.

She revealed that at the time of the incident Humphrys was on police bail in connection with the suspected break-in, but has not been charged.

Opposing bail, the barrister added: "Police believe the search they were carrying out was to obtain evidence for the burglary and this was an attempt to obstruct that investigation."

Defence counsel Michael Boyd said Humphrys accepted his driving was dangerous.

He claimed his client kept a balaclava in his car for hunting, and decided to wear it following a short discussion with a friend.

Mr Boyd also contended that the accused had been making a short journey to his mother's house to store the car in her garage.

But denying bail, Madam Justice McBride cited the possible interference with witnesses.

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