Northern Ireland news

Baby was in car which flipped onto roof after being hit by stolen vehicle

The scene of the crash near Ardoyne shops. Picture by Philip Walsh

A baby was in a car which flipped onto its roof after being hit by a stolen vehicle in north Belfast, the High Court has heard.

The seven-month-old child was among seven people injured during a series of collisions on the Crumlin Road last summer.

Details emerged as the man accused of being behind the wheel of the Audi A1 stolen during an earlier house raid was refused bail.

Ciaran Ferguson (23), of Oldpark Road in the city, faces a total of 14 charges including causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving, burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

Further alleged offences involve driving while disqualified, failing to stop for police and possession of Class C diazepam drugs.

The scene of the crash near Ardoyne shops. Picture by Philip Walsh

The Audi was stolen during a break-in at Thirlmere Gardens in north Belfast on July 1 last year.

Crown lawyer Conor Maguire said the car was spotted travelling at speed on a busy Crumlin Road two days later, overtaking other vehicles as police attempted to stop it.

He told the court it clipped several other cars before colliding with a Renault Megane being driven by a driving instructor near the Ardoyne shops.

The court heard the stolen car collided with a Renault Megane being driven by a driving instructor near Ardoyne shops which was forced into a nearby property, destroying a wall and narrowly missing a resident. Picture by Mal McCann

The Megane was forced into a nearby property, destroying a wall, smashing windows and narrowly missing a resident standing in the front garden.

According to Mr Maguire the Audi also crashed into a Skoda Octavia carrying a man and a seven-month-old baby.

"That vehicle was flipped onto its roof," he said.

The scene of the crash near Ardoyne shops. Picture by Philip Walsh

Emergency services were called to the scene to treat injured motorists and members of the public.

The baby suffered bruising, while the driver of the Megane required hospital treatment for damage to his spleen and liver.

Four people were said to have been in the stolen car, including one man who was in a critical condition with fractures to his ribs and pelvis.

Another passenger in the Audi sustained a fractured eye socket and ribs, while a woman escaped injury.

Ferguson received treatment for facial cuts and grazes.

Ciaran Ferguson (23), of Oldpark Road in Belfast, faces a total of 14 charges

During police interviews he admitted being the driver, but denied carrying out the burglary.

Opposing bail, Mr Maguire claimed members of the public would be at risk of serious harm if Ferguson was released.

Defence counsel Barry Gibson argued that family support and a best friend's sudden death had been a "wake-up" for his client.

"These factors have brought a sense of maturity to his life," Mr Gibson said.

Denying bail, however, Judge Stephen Fowler said there could be "devastating" consequences if Ferguson repeated his alleged actions in future.

He said: "A seven-month-old (child) could easily have lost their life in this incident."

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