Belfast Telegraph

Hold-up in case of horror crash accused arrested in Denmark

By Paul Higgins

The case against a Hungarian man accused of causing life changing injuries to his girlfriend in a car crash has been adjourned for a week.

Beres Szaboles (28) , with an address at Hillfoot Crescent in Ballynahinch, Co Down, is accused of causing grievous bodily injury to Anastassiya Kravstova (also known as Phillips) by dangerous driving.

The charge relates to a one-vehicle crash at Magheraknock Road in the town in March 2015.

Ms Kravstova suffered multiple injuries in the accident and has been left in a wheelchair as a result.

Szaboles was detained in Copenhagen on February 12 under a European Arrest Warrant obtained by the PSNI and he has now been brought to Northern Ireland to stand trial for the alleged offence.

On Wednesday, Szaboles was remanded in custody at Belfast Magistrates Court.

He was initially ordered to appear before Downpatrick Crown Court yesterday, but defence barrister Conan Rea revealed that was in error as a Preliminary Enquiry (PE), the legal step necessary to refer a case upwards, had not taken place.

Appearing at Downpatrick Crown Court yesterday, Judge Brian Sherard indicated the correct thing to do was to refer the case back to the magistrates court before District Judge Amanda Brady.

Mr Rea told Judge Brady that due to the adverse weather conditions, Szaboles had not been produced from Maghaberry so the PE could not take place but that as PE papers had already been served, it could be dealt with next week.

In any event, he revealed that the alleged victim's family wished to attend for the PE hearing so the seven day adjournment would facilitate that.

Adjourning the case until next Thursday, Judge Brady remanded Szaboles into ongoing custody and ordered him to be produced before the court on March 8.

At the earlier court appearance in Belfast Magistrates Court on Wednesday, a police officer told the judge that Szaboles had previously failed to turn up for a scheduled court appearance in Downpatrick.

"It's believed he left the jurisdiction and travelled to a number of other European countries," he said.

Opposing bail, the officer claimed Szaboles could flee again if released.

A defence lawyer argued that the accused has surrendered his passport, making it impossible for him to leave Northern Ireland.

He stressed Szaboles could live under curfew in Ballynahinch with his sister, who has offered to put up £1,200 savings as a cash surety.

But denying bail at this stage, District Judge Fiona Bagnall ruled: "I think there's a likelihood of him leaving the country."

She then remanded Szaboles in custody.

Belfast Telegraph

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