Northern Ireland news

Pair sentenced over stolen Audi crash on Crumlin Road

The stolen Audi which crashed and ended up on its roof. Picture by Mal McCann

TWO young people from Belfast were sentenced yesterday for offences arising from a car crash in the north of the city during which a seven-month old baby was injured.

Rachel Jordan and Conneth Johnston were passengers in a stolen Audi which was driven dangerously on several roads and which culminated in a multi-vehicle smash close to the Ardoyne shop fronts on the Crumlin Road.

Jordan (19) from Hannahstown Hill was banned from driving for a year and given a 12-month conditional discharge, while 21-year old Johnston, from Ventry Lane, was given a 12-month sentence which will be divided equally between custody and licence and was also banned from driving for a year.

Crown prosecutor James Johnston said it was accepted neither of the defendants either stole the Audi or were driving the vehicle, but both were in the car when it collided with other vehicles on July 3 last year causing a "very significant accident".

Mr Johnston revealed the Audi was stolen two days before the collision, and on July 3 it was seen being driven dangerously around north Belfast, with reports made to police by members of the public.

The Audi firstly collided with a parked van on Clifton Drive and later police tried to stop the vehicle using lights and sirens on the Crumlin Road. The Audi failed to stop and continued being driven in a dangerous manner before hitting several vehicles.

One motorist was taken to hospital with liver and spleen damage, while another car - which had a seven-month baby onboard who sustained bruising - ended up on its roof. Damage was also caused to two properties.

While Jordan was not injured in the collision, co-accused Johnston was rushed to hospital and was in a critical condition for a period due to rib and pelvis injuries.

Both defendants admitted allowing themselves to be carried in a stolen vehicle which caused an accident where injury occurred, allowing themselves to be carried in a stolen vehicle which caused damage to other cars, and allowing themselves to be carried in a stolen vehicle which caused damage to property.

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