Belfast Telegraph

Court urged to find death crash accused guilty

Nathan Phair
Nathan Phair

By Staff Reporter

A man accused of causing the death of a young mother in Co Fermanagh by dangerous driving should be found guilty on all counts, a court has heard.

Nathan Phair (23), from Castlebalfour Park, Lisnaskea denies causing Natasha Carruthers' death and grievous injury to a second passenger Sarah Gault, on October 7, 2017, following a high-speed chase, allegedly after a failed drug deal. Phair also denies drugs charges but accepts driving without a licence or insurance.

At Dungannon Crown Court yesterday, prosecutor David McDowell QC said in his closing remarks that Phair "had no right to be driving as he did that night" and "common sense would lead to guilty verdicts on all counts."

Padraig Toher had been pursuing Phair in his BMW, which he used "to bump, nudge or tap the Corsa".

"It is perfectly possible he was the immediate cause of the Corsa losing control.

"The question is whether Nathan Phair has also got a share of that and committed criminal offences too," Mr McDowell said.

Toher (28), from Co Cavan, has already admitted manslaughter as his BMW made "deliberate contact" causing death, and is not on trial. Referring to evidence of witnesses, Mr McDowell said the two cars were noted side-by-side and at one stage were traveling at 100mph.

During the pursuit, Phair, "pulled away, increasing his speed" through country roads and villages.

Phair, said Mr McDowell, "hit a tree at 62mph … with an impact sounding like an explosion and crashed".

"He had Xanax in his bloodstream, something he lied about to police. He wasn't taking them for anxiety … he was 19 times above the upper therapeutic range," said Mr McDowell.

Concluding, Mr McDowell said: "Both drivers are to blame and common sense will lead you to find him guilty on all counts."

At hearing.

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