Northern Ireland news

Video: 'Woman in red pyjamas set fire to stolen car' after crash in west Belfast

The stolen car which was set on fire on St Stephen's night

POLICE are appealing for information after a woman wearing red pyjamas was seen setting fire to a stolen car that had crashed just minutes earlier into a pelican crossing in west Belfast.

The black Saab, which had been reported stolen from the Springfield Road area, was seen driving erratically before crashing at speed on St Stephen's night.

Eyewitnesses said the driver made off into the nearby Ballymurphy estate.

Local people also reported that a woman was then seen coming from Ballymurphy and setting fire to the vehicle.

Sinn Féin councillor Steven Corr said the stolen car could have caused deaths given the reckless manner in which it was driven.

"We as a community are very, very fortunate that we are not dealing with fatalities in this area this as a result of this incident on St Stephen's night," he said.

"This car was driven at speed and recklessly down the Springfield Road, lost control and smashed into a pelican crossing.

"It was then set alight after the driver managed to avoid serious injury and ran off into Ballymurphy.

"A woman then emerged from the Ballymurphy steps and was seen to set the car alight. This is crazy behaviour and once again we have had a lucky escape.

"Anyone crossing the road or a car emerging from New Barnsley would have been wiped out if they had have been near, such was the speed of this car.

"This is anti-community behaviour and anyone who saw anything needs to bring that information forward before we end up with a fatality again through reckless driving in our area."

The PSNI said: "At approximately 10.25pm on Wednesday December 26, police received a report of a car on fire near New Barnsley Road, Belfast.

"This vehicle was reported stolen from the Springfield Road area of Belfast.

"Police would appeal to anyone who has any information about this incident to contact police at Woodbourne on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1178 26/12/18.

"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100 per cent anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime".

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