Belfast Telegraph

Motorist charged with injuring police officer during Twelfth parade

By Staff Reporter

A 45-year-old man has gone on trial for the alleged hit-and-run of a police officer during a Twelfth parade in Coagh.

Colin McAdoo accepted that "in a moment of madness" he disobeyed police instructions not to drive down a closed-off road, claiming it was clear of traffic and he only had 100 yards to go to his destination.

The officer had his arm on the car windowledge whilst talking to the accused, and became entangled in the car before it "revved and took off at high speed".

The officer was flung to the ground and the accused drove on without stopping.

McAdoo was accused of dangerous driving, as well as failing to stop and remain after a collision in which injury was caused on July 12, 2016.

McAdoo, of Tullagh Road, Cookstown, denies the charges.

A spectator at the event told Dungannon Crown Court she observed a large white car driven by McAdoo slow down at the approach to Drumconvis Road, which was closed off for the parade. She said a police officer spoke to McAdoo and she assumed he was telling him the road was closed.

However, the car began to inch forward and the police officer was walking very quickly to keep alongside. The witness then heard a "screeching of tyres" and the car sped off down the closed-off road. The police officer "was sent tumbling down the street".

The car was traced to McAdoo, who confirmed he had been in an incident around 10 minutes earlier. He was informed that an officer had been injured and he was arrested.

At first it was believed that the officer had suffered a fractured leg, but this turned out not to be the case.

On arrival at the scene, a sergeant told the court he found St John's Ambulance paramedics treating the officer. Cuts and bleeding were noted, and he was complaining of chest and spinal pain.

The right knee of his police-issue trousers was ripped and the toecap was peeled back from his boot. The sergeant described his colleague as "visibly shaken by the incident".

Having been advised that McAdoo's car had been traced, he ordered it to be seized for forensic examination.

He charged him with the offences and interviewed McAdoo, who admitted refusing to accept the direction of the police officer not to drive along Drumconvis Road, Coagh.

However, he maintained: "It was a bit silly for me to go three miles around the town when I only had to go 100 yards to get to where I was going. Common sense told me to go on. It was a moment of madness."

He stressed he did not intend to cause injury and it was only when he reached his destination he thought back and said: "I should have stopped."

The trial continues.

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