Northern Ireland news

Man 'tried to kill police officer by hitting him with car'

The accused appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court in handcuffs

A MAN allegedly tried to kill a police officer by hitting him with his car, a court has heard.

Brian Joseph Gallagher faces a charge of attempted murder over the collision on the Hillhall Road in Lisburn, Co Antrim on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old, of Broom Park in Twinbrook, is also accused of dangerous driving, failing to stop or remain at the scene of an accident where an injury occurred, as well as possessing cannabis and criminal property.

Appearing before Belfast Magistrates' Court in handcuffs, Gallagher spoke only to confirm he understood the alleged offences.

An investigating detective opposed bail.

"Police believe he's part of an organised crime gang with no legitimate source of income," he said.

Defence counsel Sean Mullan argued that the attempted murder allegation was "a classic case of overcharging".

He told the court: "This relates to an officer being struck by a vehicle."

During cross-examination the detective indicated that the injured constable is no longer being treated in hospital.

"It's fair to say that it's not a life-threatening situation," Mr Mullan contended.

The barrister set out Gallagher's counter-claim that his car was rammed by an unmarked PSNI vehicle.

"Police say they tried to stop him driving, and it seems on the police account an officer has been struck," Mr Mullan added.

"That's ultimately all there is - a driving matter."

Gallagher, a married father-of-two, is hoping to gain employment after completing a welding course, the court heard.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall refused bail and remanded Gallagher in custody to appear again by video-link at Lisburn Magistrates' Court on March 14.

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