Belfast Telegraph

Nathan Phair guilty of causing death of crash victim Natasha Carruthers

Natasha Carruthers
Natasha Carruthers

Nathan Phair has been found guilty of causing the death of Natasha Carruthers by dangerous driving.

Following a four week trial at Dungannon Crown Court, during which Phair’s defence team described him as “a rascal, but not callous or calculating”, he was also convicted of causing grievous bodily injury to a second passenger, driving while unfit and possessing and supplying drugs.

It can now be revealed Phair is currently serving a prison sentence for burglary in which he targeted an elderly, vulnerable person – the second time he has committed such an offence.

Aged 23 and from Castlebalfour Park, Lisnaskea, Phair admitted driving without a licence or insurance on 7 October 2017, but was adamant he bore no responsibility for Natasha’s death following a high-speed chase

Nathan Phair
Nathan Phair

He also denied the drugs charges.

Co-defendant, Padraig Toher (28) from County Cavan, did not stand trial with Phair having admitted manslaughter as his BMW made “deliberate contact” causing death.

Natasha was the front-seat passenger in her Vauxhall Corsa, driven by Phair at Newbridge Road, Derrylin, which lost control, entered a clockwise rotation, struck a tree on the passenger side and continued on before coming rest on a hedge.

The engine was jettisoned into a field.

Ejected on impact, Natasha was flung onto the road, but the car continued moving, eventually halting on top of her.

Andrew Waters, who was a passenger in the chasing BMW gave evidence against Phair during the trial. He has accepted a number of drugs offences in the run up to the fatal collision, and is awaiting sentence.

After less than two hours deliberation, the jury returned guilty verdicts on all charges

Natasha’s heartbroken mother, who stoically sat through every day of the trial, wept quietly, and was comforted by family members.

Phair showed no emotion or reaction as the guilty pleas were read.

Judge Neil Rafferty QC thanked the jury for their conscientiousness in a very complex case which lasted longer than anticipated.

Pre-sentence reports are to be prepared and Phair was returned to custody in the meantime. He will be sentenced at a later date.

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