A sex offender walked free yesterday after a judge directed a jury to acquit him of driving offences.
After a prosecution lawyer offered “no evidence” against 23-year-old Thomas Charles Ward, Belfast Crown Court Judge Tom Burgess directed the jury to acquit him of dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
Ward, with an address on the Ormeau Road in south Belfast, had been accused of driving dangerously in the Sliabh Dubh View area of Belfast on May 23 last year.
While he walked free from court, Ward is still subject to numerous restrictions as part of a Sexual Offences Prevention order.
In May 2007 Ward, said to be one of Northern Ireland's most dangerous sex offenders, was jailed for four years for attacking and sexually assaulting a 45-year-old woman in March 2006.
During the attack, Ward knocked his victim’s teeth out as she fought him off.
The assault only ended after the woman wrapped her handbag around her fist and hit him with it, before biting his fingers.