Driver accused of taunting PSNI with flashing lights across border claims he was with married woman at time of incident
A banned motorist allegedly "taunted" police when he crossed into the Republic of Ireland during a pursuit near the border, the High Court heard today.
Prosecutors claimed Alan Thompson flashed his lights at officers after driving erratically and narrowly missing a group of people outside a Co Tyrone bar.
Thompson denies involvement in the incident earlier this month, claiming he was with an unnamed married woman at the time.
The 32-year-old labourer, of no fixed abode in the Castlederg area, is charged with driving while disqualified and two counts each of dangerous driving and failing to stop for police.
During a bail application Crown lawyer Mark Farrell alleged Thompson was behind the wheel of a pickup truck observed by a police patrol in Strabane late on December 2.
He said the vehicle took off, mounting a pavement and just missing patrons of a nearby pub.
Police followed the truck until it crossed a bridge into Lifford, Co Donegal, the court was told.
It was claimed that officers spotted it for a second time on the Listymore Road in Castlederg as they travelled to an address linked to Thompson.
Mr Farrell claimed the driver of the vehicle ignored sirens, swerving erratically into the middle of the road.
At that point police backed off from the pursuit amid concerns for public safety.
According to the prosecution Thompson again crossed into the Republic, stopping just 300 metres into the Republic and flashing his indicator lights.
"The police view is that the applicant was taunting them, saying 'You can't get me'," Mr Farrell contended.
"Police could do nothing."
Thompson was arrested three days later, but denied being the driver of the truck.
"He gave an alibi, saying he was with a married woman," Mr Farrell added.
Defence counsel Craig Patton explained that Thompson has not yet provided her name due to her marital status.
"It's hopeful she will make a statement outlining that they were in town, they had some drinks and went back to her house," he said.
Granting bail, the judge ordered lodgment of a £5,000 cash surety being offered by Thompson's boss.
The accused must also abide by a curfew, electronic monitoring and alcohol ban.
Belfast Telegraph Digital