Natasha Carruthers death crash trial told of alleged failed drug deal
The trial of a Lisnaskea man accused of causing the death of young mother Natasha Carruthers by dangerous driving has heard of an alleged drug deal the night before.
Evidence came from the front seat passenger in the car which it is accepted was in the high-speed pursuit that ended in Natasha's death.
Nathan Charles Phair (23), from Castlebalfour Park, admits having no licence or insurance, but denies causing Natasha's death, as well as grievous injury to a second passenger, Sarah Gault, on October 7, 2017 following a high-speed chase, allegedly after a failed drug deal. He also denies intent to supply cocaine.
Padraig Toher (28), from Co Cavan, admitted manslaughter as his BMW made "deliberate contact" causing death and is not on trial.
Ms Carruthers (23) was the front passenger in her Vauxhall Corsa driven by Phair at Newbridge Road in Derrylin.
Andrew Waters told Dungannon Crown Court that he and Toher knew each other through motorcycling. Having worked in London for a time Toher called with Waters on his return, asking where to get cocaine.
Mr Waters said: "I told him Nathan Phair (could get drugs). They met at the GAA football pitch in Newtownbutler. He paid £100 for a bag of cocaine. Nathan got out (of a Peugeot) and came to the driver door. He took the money, drove off and came back with the cocaine."
A week later Toher wanted another transaction, also taking place at the football pitch, with Phair in Natasha's Corsa.
Toher planned to attend the 'Filthy Animals Rally' in Clogher and wanted extra drugs to sell at the event, the court was told. Waters accompanied him and saw £500 handed to Phair. He drove off, but did not return.
Waters told the trial he said to Toher: "They've done you, lad. They've stroked you." He added: "He wasn't happy his money was taken off him." The next night Waters was with Toher when they spotted the Corsa parked with Phair behind the wheel, Ms Carruthers in the front and Ms Gault in the rear.
Toher drove in behind and, clutching an iron bar, tapped the Corsa driver's window before demanding, "Where's my f****** money?" He smashed the window and struck the windscreen.
"Nathan put the car in reverse by mistake and backed into us," said Waters. "Then he raced on as hard as the car would go."
Toher gave chase screaming: "I'll spin that car and get my money off him." Waters told the court: "I told him to let me out. I was roaring at him to stop."
Also in court was Ms Carruthers' partner Matthew Taggart, the father of her baby.
He said he received a call from Andrew Waters who "started talking about a stroke, stealing something, and Natasha, Nathan Phair and Sarah Gault were involved".
Mr Taggart told the court: "He wanted contact numbers as 'the boys' were looking for them. He mentioned my child and a man with no problem doing whatever he had to do to get his money. I took it as a threat."
The trial continues.