Man (29) jailed for dangerous driving during police chase `will not be released until he deals with addictions'

Martin Smyth (29) has been jailed for 11 months for dangerous driving during a police chase through Belfast

A 29-year-old man has been jailed for 11 months for dangerous driving during a police chase through Belfast.

Martin Smyth, who address was given as c/o of Magilligan prison, pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to driving whilst disqualified, dangerous driving and having no insurance.

Yesterday the court heard that, in March, police observed a black Volvo car in the city centre being driven by Smyth towards the Westlink.

At Great George's Street police signalled with sirens and flashing lights for the vehicle to stop, but Smyth "acclerated away towards North Queen Street driving on the wrong side of the road and going through a red light."

During the police pursuit through north and west Belfast, the court was told Smyth jumped a number of red lights and went through a roundabout in the wrong lane.

A stinger device was deployed at Upper Whiterock Road before the Volvo came to a halt after colliding with a taxi on Monagh Road where Smyth was arrested by police.

Smyth - who had only been out of jail for three weeks and was a disqualified driver and with two previous convictions for dangerous driving - had 172 previous convictions, 41 for road traffic offences.

Following his arrest, Smyth's release licence was revoked and he was returned to jail.

Judge Patricia Smyth told the defendant it was "a particularly serious case of dangerous driving", and he "could have caused serious harm to members of the public".

The judge also noted that Smyth's partner had been murdered in 2015 and their children, now aged 12, nine and six, were being cared for by their maternal grand mother.

Jennifer Dornan (30) was found stabbed to death at her Lagmore View in the Lagmore estate in west Belfast.

Handing him an 11-month prison sentence and banning him from driving for 10 years, Judge Smyth said: "You have three children and you have a responsibility for them but until you deal with your addictions completely you are not going to be released.

"Your three children have now lost their mother. You are going to have exercise responsibility and deal with these addictions.''

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