Banned motorist accused of driving the wrong way on M2 is denied bail
A banned driver accused of speeding the wrong way towards oncoming traffic along one of Northern Ireland's busiest motorways to escape from police was remanded in custody on yesterday.
Richard David Kirk (25), of Greenway in Belfast's Cregagh area, is alleged to have driven a Renault Twingo the wrong way on the M2 motorway near Antrim to get away from the PSNI, Coleraine Magistrates' Court was told.
A police officer said that when Kirk, who was also suspected of being over the drink-drive limit, was being pursued by police on the motorway he slowed down and turned against oncoming traffic before going up the hard shoulder and onto the Dunsilly roundabout into the path of oncoming cars, several of which had to take action to avoid a collision.
The officer described the driving as "horrendous" and alleged Kirk then turned back onto the motorway and travelled at speeds of up to 90mph and it took three police cars to stop him on the Mountpottinger Road in Belfast during the incident on Saturday.
The officer confirmed to a defence solicitor Kirk only drove against the flow of traffic for a "short stretch".
The solicitor said when stopped by police his client was co-operative with officers and was "marginally over" the drink-drive limit when tested.
The court heard the accused has previous driving convictions and was banned from the road at the time of the alleged offences.
The police officer said Kirk was involved in a road traffic collision involving another vehicle around 9am on Saturday and a passenger got out of Kirk's vehicle and pushed the other driver before Kirk made off and police were alerted before they spotted him around 10.35am in the Antrim area.
A prosecutor said there is video footage of the incident and the police officer opposed bail.
Denying bail, district judge Liam McNally said it was evident Kirk was trying to get away from police by driving in the wrong direction.
Kirk is charged with several offences including dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving while unfit and failing to stop for police.
He was remanded in custody to appear back at the same court via videolink on September 7.