Belfast Telegraph

Woman injured in Belfast police pursuit to miss start of play, but show must go on

By David Young

A woman who was injured by a car being pursued by police needed hospital treatment yesterday as her condition deteriorated.

Theatre director Pauline Carville was hurt when a speeding vehicle, which had earlier struck a pedestrian, slammed into her car on Belfast's Newtownards Road on Thursday.

Yesterday, husband Robin Elliott said Pauline had been feeling very ill in the morning.

"She was dizzy, she was having lots of headaches and she was unsteady on her feet," he said.

"You expect that kind of thing after being in a crash like that.

"But tests at the Ulster Hospital showed her blood pressure was through the roof."

The collision has also thrown into turmoil the couple's plans to open a new show at the Apollo Arts theatre in east Belfast next week.

Pauline is the director of the play Chatroom, by Enda Walsh, which is to open on Wednesday.

However, west Belfast actress Claire Rafferty, who has appeared in TV series such as Silent Witness and Derry Girls, has agreed to step in while Pauline is recovering from her injuries.

Robin said that despite the setback, the couple were determined that "the show would go on".

The pair also said last night that they had been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of messages of sympathy, support and encouragement that they had received over the past two days.

They had also received messages from people living in north Belfast who said that the type of incident in which Pauline was injured was too common an occurrence in that part of the city - and that something needed to be done by the authorities.

Two people were arrested by police investigating the incident in which Pauline and a female pedestrian were hurt.

Meanwhile, a teenager appeared in court yesterday accused of being behind the wheel of the vehicle which struck Pauline's car.

Tom Mongan was arrested after the incidents on Thursday afternoon.

The 18-year-old, of White Rise in the Dunmurry area, appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court charged with 11 motoring offences. Police said they began their pursuit of the car at Clifton Street, before it struck the woman and made off.

With the Police Ombudsman informed about the incident, Mongan was one of two men subsequently arrested.

He faces three counts of dangerous driving - at Clifton Street, on the Westlink and along the Newtownards Road - as well as failing to stop for police.

Further charges include failing to stop, report or remain at the scene of an accident where injury was caused to someone else.

He is also accused of driving while disqualified and driving a Volkswagen Passat without insurance.

Dressed in a grey tracksuit, Mongan spoke only to confirm he understood the allegations against him.

A detective constable said he could connect the accused to the charges.

No application for bail was made during the brief hearing.

Instead, District Judge Fiona Bagnall remanded Mongan in custody to appear again by video-link in two weeks' time.

As the defendant was being led back to the cells some female relatives left the court in tears.

A 32-year-old man charged with permitting use of a car without insurance and failing to give information regarding a driver is due to appear at the same court next month.

Belfast Telegraph

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