Belfast Telegraph

Man admits causing death of Belfast mum-of-two Lisa Gow

Lisa Gow
Lisa Gow

By John Cassidy

A north Belfast man has admitted in court to causing the death of a mother-of-two when he struck her with a stolen car he was driving.

Martin Alexander Nelson (40), Ardoyne Road, Ballysillan, appeared at Belfast Crown Court on Monday to be formally arraigned on eight charges in connection with the incident on April 19, 2018.

Nelson pleaded guilty to causing the death of Lisa Gow by dangerous driving, causing her death by driving whilst disqualified and burglary.

He further admitted charges of dangerous driving, causing her death while uninsured and aggravated vehicle taking.

At the request of the prosecution, Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland said that two charges Nelson had pleaded not guilty to would be "left on the books and not to be proceeded with without the leave of the Crown Court or Court of Appeal''.

Defence counsel Ciaran Mallon QC asked that a probation report be completed ahead of sentencing next month.

Mr Mallon added that the defendant had been recalled to prison for breach of his release licence in relation to the offences he has now pleaded guilty to and had been on remand for the past 14 months.

Judge McFarland said he would sentence Nelson on July 3 once the probation report and victim impact statements were before the court.

As he was led away in handcuffs by prison staff, Nelson turned to members of Ms Gow's family sitting in the public and said: "I am sorry.''

Her dad Peter replied to Nelson "F**k off.''

Martin Nelson
Martin Nelson

No details were given in court on Monday about the incident.

But at the time police said the Audi car involved in the fatal collision had been stolen from a house on the Cavehill Road earlier on the morning of the incident.

It is understood keys to the vehicle were taken during a burglary three days earlier.

Police said they located the Audi A4 after deploying the PSNI helicopter as part of a search operation.

The vehicle was followed onto the Antrim Road before other trained officers deployed a stinger device in a bid to bring it to a controlled stop.

But when the stolen car failed to come to a halt police on the ground ended their pursuit amid concerns at the dangerous manner in which it was being driven, according to a PSNI statement.

It then headed onto the Ballysillan Road, colliding with another vehicle before striking and killing the female pedestrian, Lisa Gow.

Ms Gow was a local woman in her thirties with two young children.

She had just dropped her children off at Ballysillan Primary School and was heading back home when the Audi car struck her.

The circumstances of the police pursuit is currently the subject of an independent Police Ombudsman's investigation.

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