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Man accused of crashing stolen van into bus in Belfast city centre granted bail

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McTaggart , who is charged with several driving offences, was granted bail at the High Court.

McTaggart , who is charged with several driving offences, was granted bail at the High Court.

McTaggart , who is charged with several driving offences, was granted bail at the High Court.

A man accused of crashing a stolen van into a bus as police attempted to detain him cannot remember what happened, the High Court has heard.

Eamon McTaggart, 31, was allegedly behind the wheel when the vehicle collided with a double decker in Belfast city centre last week.

At one point the Citroen sped off with a PSNI officer holding on to an open door, prosecutors said.

McTaggart, of Tamneymore Park in Derry, faces charges of aggravated vehicle taking, driving while unfit, failing to stop and dangerous driving.

Prosecution counsel Connel Trainor said the PSNI received two 999 calls on May 13, one to report the theft of a van and another about a suspected drink driver in the Great Victoria Street area.

Police spotted and approached the Citroen while it was in traffic behind a bus.

One officer opened the passenger door and made eye contact with McTaggart who then sped off and pulled him forward, it was claimed.

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“Police then heard a loud bang and the Translink bus stopped because the van had collided with it,” Mr Trainor said.

McTaggart was arrested at the scene, but during attempts to obtain a preliminary breath sample allegedly stated to officers: “I will see you in court.”

During subsequent interviews he accepted responsibility and offered to pay for any damage, according to the prosecution.

Mr Trainor added: “He said that he had no recollection of what happened.”

Lara Smyth, defending, told the court her client is ashamed of his behaviour.

“Notwithstanding his absence of memory… he’s offered remorse and to make any reparation he can,” she added.

Mr Justice Humphreys pointed out that much more serious harm could have been caused.

But granting bail to McTaggart under strict conditions, the judge ordered: “He is not to travel in any private vehicle unless required to do so for the purpose of his employment.”


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