Belfast Telegraph

Fury as ‘hit-and-run’ is downgraded

By Patrice Dougan

The brother of a woman seriously hurt in a car park at the weekend has criticised police after detectives downgraded their investigation from a hit-and-run to an accident.

It was believed Julie-Ann Alexander (49), a single mother with a son of 14, was struck by a vehicle early on Monday in Holywood, Co Down, which moved off.

Last night police investigating the incident, which occurred in Holywood Golf Club car park, said it was not being treated as a hit-and-run.

Ms Alexander was rushed to hospital with a fractured skull and other head injuries.

Police appealed for the driver of a grey car with Co Monaghan licence plates to come forward. Officers have now spoken to the driver of the car and have since ruled out a hit-and-run as a possible line of enquiry.

A PSNI spokesman said enquiries were “still ongoing” into the incident, but it was now being treated as accidental.

But Ms Alexander’s brother Raymond branded the investigation “disappointing”.

He said: “I have basically solved this thing myself, which is sad, because of the lack of pace in the |investigation.”

He said he had viewed CCTV footage, contacted witnesses and spoken to the car driver himself, but had been warned by police to “stop this private eye stuff”.

“I’m very supportive of the PSNI but I just feel let down. I’m thinking of going to the Police Ombudsman.”

Miss Alexander is now recovering in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital, after sustaining a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain, damage to her right ear and a “massive” wound to her head.

A PSNI spokeswoman said its probe is continuing, adding: “A number of people were spoken to by police, including the driver of the car. Based on the information contained in these witness accounts, the incident is no longer being treated as a hit and run.

“Enquiries to establish the exact circumstances of how the injured woman came by her injuries and to establish if any offence has been committed are continuing.”

The RVH last night said she was in a “stable” condition.

A club spokesman said members were “assisting police”.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph