A MAN who fled from police in a high-speed chase before driving a tractor towards officers prior to smashing three police cars has been refused bail.
Matthew Nolan, 25, of Tattenabuddagh Lane, Fivemiletown, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, three counts of criminal damage, driving when unfit due to drink or drugs, driving without insurance, driving while disqualified, failing to stop at a damage-only accident, failing to remain at a damage-only accident, failing to provide a specimen, dangerous driving and making threats to kill.
Police told the Court that on September 23, 2022, police spotted the defendant passing them at speed in a Ford Fiesta. Nolan then spun the wheels on the car he was driving and drove past them. The officers then pursued Nolan.
Having received information on the address of the vehicle’s registered keeper, officers arrived at the farmhouse property to be met by Nolan’s brothers. They then searched the farmyard whereby they heard the roar of a tractor which had Nolan at the wheel.
Nolan then proceeded to drive at the two police officers who jumped a nearby gate in order to avoid being run over.
The tractor was then driven in reverse gear by Nolan and crashed into three police vehicles. Nolan then drove up a country lane. Fearing for their lives, the officers chose not to pursue him. Nolan was said to have shouted at them, “you have f****d with the wrong family”.
Meanwhile, the Ford Fiesta that Nolan had been seen speeding in earlier, had been located tucked under some bushes.
Nolan eventually returned to the property three hours later after being taken back by a neighbour and was immediately arrested.
Police told the Court that Nolan denied all of the charges against him claiming to have been in Co. Monaghan during the night and spent the hours between 11pm and 3am walking back home.
When asked to provide the password to his mobile phone so that police could trace the phone’s locations during the night, Nolan refused to provide one to them.
Police also added that they refused bail on the grounds of Nolan having a record for breaching bail. They also stated that Nolan had a total of 25 motoring convictions, presented a clear danger to the public and was already serving a suspended sentence on the night the offences were said to have taken place.
The defending solicitor for Nolan told the Court that the severity of the allegations were not grounds itself to refuse bail. He added that his client was not a flight risk as he has no passport and was in the process of building a life for himself, his partner and their young child by trying to get a new house.
District Judge Alana McSorley refused Nolan bail on the grounds of there being a risk of re-offending.
The case was adjourned to March 6.
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