Derry man in court on driving charges

A Derry man who was accused of driving while disqualified, and was said to have fled over the border into County Donegal after being recognised by police while driving, has been remanded in custody.
28 year old James Donegan of Summerhill Park appeared at the local Magistrate’s Court charged with a series of offences, that were said to have occurred on Saturday last, July 23rd.
Donegan is charged with driving while disqualified, having no insurance, failing to stop for an officer and dangerous driving in the Springtown Road area of the city.
A police officer connected Donegan to the charges and opposed bail.
The officer said that a mobile patrol became aware of a vehicle in front of them with black smoke coming from the exhaust.
One officer recognised Donegan as the driver as he had known the defendant for several years.
Police signalled the vehicle to stop but it made off and eventually crossed the border into Donegal.
Police visited Donegan’s home and let it be known they wished to speak to him.
On July 24 police received a report that the same vehicle had been found burnt out. On the same date Donegan was arrested near the border. At interview Donegan said he had been with his mother and aunt on the date in question. The officer opposed bail on the fear of further offences and stated that Donegan had 76 previous offences.
In response to Seamus Quigley defence solicitor the police officer said the identification at this stage was one officer.
The officer said that Donegan’s substance misuse ‘was as severe as anyone I have managed.’
District Judge Barney McElholm said the risk of re-offending was too high and remanded Donegan in custody to appear again on August 11.

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