Belfast Telegraph

Driver in Lisa Gow car death case was due for sentencing on other offences

By Cate McCurry

A driver who admitted killing mother-of-two Lisa Gow last Thursday was due to be sentenced at Belfast Crown Court for separate offences next month, it has emerged.

Martin Alexander Nelson, who admitted driving the stolen Audi A4 which ploughed into Ms Gow on the Ballysillan Road in north Belfast, had been granted bail at Belfast Crown Court.

He had pleaded guilty to being unlawfully at large from Magilligan Prison between October 30 and November 3, 2017.

He also admitted resisting a police officer in the execution of his duty on November 2 while he was on the run.

The 39-year-old was granted bail at Belfast Crown Court while pre-sentence reports were being prepared.

Then an application to change his bail address was made earlier this month.

He was ordered to abide by a number of conditions, including attending all probation appointments and any courses that they recommend, attending a drink awareness course and not driving or purchasing any motor vehicle.

He was due to be sentenced on May 16.

But it was while Nelson was out on bail that Ms Gow was killed.

Lisa's family has been left angered after revelations about his convictions and bail emerged in the days following her death.

Councillor Dale Pankhurst met with Lisa's parents Agnes and Peter and her partner John on Saturday.

He said: "They are distraught over losing Lisa, but the anger in that house is palpable.

"This is a man with a long history of criminal convictions and someone who should not have been free to walk the streets."

A Public Prosecution Service spokeswoman said: "The court hearing referred to was to consider a variation on bail, namely a change of address.

"It was not to consider if bail should be granted, the court having determined this at an earlier hearing."

Controversy erupted after the PSNI claimed they ended their pursuit of the Audi A4 before the crash in which Ms Gow died.

Eyewitnesses and residents, however, disputed the police claims.

The Police Ombudsman Office launched an official investigation into the incident, and in a highly unusual move, publicly disputed the PSNI's account of events.

"Video from the police helicopter and from within the lead police pursuit car clearly shows that when the collision occurred, police were a matter of seconds behind the suspect vehicle," the Police Ombudsman's Office said.

A spokesman for the PSNI said: "It would not be appropriate to comment further while the PONI (Police Ombudsman Office) investigation is ongoing."

Floral tributes and heart-felt messages have been left at the scene of the tragedy.

On the morning Lisa was struck by the stolen Audi she had dropped off her children Olivia (8) and Riley (5) at primary school.

Her children left a note at the scene where she lost her life.

It read: "To mummy, I miss you so much, I can't believe you are gone.

"I hope you love heaven. I love you, I love you.

"Do you like your big wings now you can fly?"

Belfast Telegraph

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