A man assaulted his now ex-girlfriend after an argument and then stole her car with the woman “hanging out the side” of the vehicle in Larne, a court has heard.
David Robert Todd Allister (29) then fled alone in the Renault Megane before trying to out-run police.
District Judge Peter King jailed Allister for six months and banned him from driving for three years saying the woman could have ended up with a significant injury.
He said Allister, of Centenary House Victoria Street, Belfast, let a low-level domestic situation spiral out of control.
A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court on October 27 that during the incident in Larne on April 22 this year the car owner contacted police to say she had been attacked by her boyfriend who had then stolen her car after she had driven to Larne to get him at the Simon Community where he was living at the time
The prosecutor said the woman said Allister was grabbing the steering wheel and messing about with the handbrake as she was driving and when she stopped he assaulted her by grabbing her hair and then drove off in the vehicle.
Police saw the vehicle and gave chase using blue lights and Allister failed to stop. When he eventually did pull in and police pulled in behind him he reversed the car into the police vehicle and drove off at speed again.
A defence lawyer said the couple had an argument and his client accepted he drove off with the woman “hanging out the side” but said the incident was fuelled by “frustration”.
The lawyer said Allister had suffered a number of personal tragedies involving the death of people close to him including his mother and uncle and was “in a bad place” on April 22.
Allister pleaded guilty to several charges including aggravated vehicle taking; dangerous driving and assault.
Jailing Allister, Judge King said the incident happened just days after the defendant appeared in court and had been given a suspended prison term.
Bail for appeal was fixed on the sum of £200.