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Police forced to ram car in Belfast chase after it went through stinger device

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Belfast High Court

Belfast High Court

Belfast High Court

Police rammed a car to bring it to a halt after it went through a stinger device in west Belfast, the High Court was told.

Prosecutors said the Peugeot 207 had continued at speed on deflated tyres through parts of the city.

Details of the incident in the early hours of August 10 last year emerged as the alleged driver was refused bail.

Michael Skillen, 31, of Springfield Avenue in Belfast, faces charges of dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and resisting police.

Crown lawyer David McClean said the Peugeot was spotted travelling erratically on the Glen Road.

Despite signaling for the vehicle to stop, it continued at speed towards Poleglass.

A stinger device was then deployed to successfully deflate some of its tyres.

But according to Mr McClean the car then headed along the Stewartstown Road towards the city centre.

The PSNI's auto crime unit went after the Peugeot because of how dangerously it was being driven, the court heard.

"At one point in the pursuit they drew level with the vehicle and identified the applicant (Skillen) as the driver," Mr McClean said.

The incident culminated in police carrying out a "tactical contact" with the car in Divis Street.

The prosecutor explained: "Essentially it means they rammed it to make it stop."

Skillen was located in the driver's seat, kicking out at officers attempting to detain him, it was claimed.

Opposing bail, Mr McClean contended: "The nature of the dangerous driving put the public at considerable risk."

Defence barrister Barry Gibson argued that his client has "turned his life around" by completing several courses while in custody.

But Mr Justice Huddleston ruled that Skillen must remain behind bars.

He judge said: "On the risk of re-offending bail will be refused."

Belfast Telegraph