Police car crash accused wore balaclava

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A Larne man who was one of two people wearing balaclavas when a car smashed into a PSNI vehicle claimed it was accidental and he was only hiding his face because he didn’t want police to recognise him as he was “banned” from driving, a court was told.

Alan Humphrys (28), of Churchill Road, was high on drugs as he drove a Hyundai car at Killyglen Road in the town on the afternoon of Saturday September 17, last year, when it crashed.

Three police vehicles in the area as a search of a property was being carried out were damaged in the collision and a PSNI officer in one of the vehicles suffered back and chest injuries and was taken to hospital but later discharged.

At Ballymena Magistrates Court, on Thursday, Humphrys, who had a record, pleaded guilty to all the charges he faced including driving whilst unfit through drugs; careless driving, no insurance and resisting police.

A previous court heard police believed he deliberately rammed the police vehicle and at the time of the offence was out on bail in connection with alleged burglaries.

He had been originally charged with dangerous driving and aggravated taking of a vehicle but those charges were withdrawn.

A prosecutor told Thursday’s court three police vehicles were parked at the side of Killyglen Road whilst a search was ongoing when a red Hyundai car collided with a police vehicle.

The driver and front seat passenger of the Hyundai were wearing balaclavas and gloves and attempted to run off and although the passenger escaped, Humphrys was caught.

His eyes were pinpoint and glazed and he was sweating and unsteady on his feet. A blood sample showed drugs in his system.

The prosecutor said during a police interview Humphrys claimed he saw a Gumtree ad and bought the car for £150 in Belfast and planned to fix it up and sell on.

He told officers he was driving from his flat to his mum’s house and wore the balaclava “so police would not recognise him” as he was banned from driving whilst a friend wore their balaclava “for fun”.

Humphrys said he had taken cocaine and had not slept and lost control of the vehicle and that the collision was not intentional.

District Judge Peter King said it was not a run-of-the-mill case and said he wanted a report prepared on the defendant before sentencing him in February.