A Dungannon man has been remanded in custody following a high-speed pursuit which ended with the fleeing car bursting into flames.
n the course of the 90-minute episode Leon Lemoshe, also known as McGlinchey (27), of Killymaddy Hill was said to have performed numerous dangerous manoeuvres with a passenger on board while trying to evade police.
He is charged with driving a BMW dangerously without a licence or insurance, failing to stop for police, assaulting an officer and resisting arrest.
While occurring on numerous roads, the chase ended at Ballinderry Bridge Road, Coagh, on June 12.
A police officer told Dungannon Magistrates Court all charges could be connected.
He said in the pursuit Lemoshe reached speeds in excess of 100mph on public roads, took a roundabout anticlockwise, drove on the wrong side of the road and performed a handbrake turn on a dual carriageway, narrowly avoiding colliding with other traffic.
A stinger device was deployed, puncturing one tyre.
A member of the public observed a small white package being thrown from the driver’s side, which was seized and sent for examination.
The police helicopter was tracking the scene, with armed response officers in attendance.
As the pursuit continued police observed flames inside the BMW, which was then ditched by Lemoshe, who along with a passenger, exited and fled. Seconds later the car was engulfed in flames.
Opposing bail, the officer said: “Police are concerned there is a high risk of reoffending.
“This was a major incident which lasted one-and-a-half hours of pursuit involving the police helicopter, armed response officers and multiple patrols.
“The defendant has previous convictions for this kind of driving.
“He showed total disrespect for other road users.”
A defence lawyer said his client was threatened and his home attacked a few months ago, and the person allegedly responsible is currently remanded in custody in Maghaberry Prison.
Lemoshe is “quite literally terrified of encountering this person if refused bail”, the defence stated, although it conceded it would be up to prison authorities to manage risk.
It was suggested he could be released to reside with his mother in Dungannon.
District Judge John Meehan said: “There seems to be a compulsion to go out on the roads illegally, going by the record. The defendant is accused of very serious offences while on bail for similar matters, and the extent to which police were required to go to apprehend him was extraordinary.
“It must also be noted – and I continue to refer to this – he was out driving at will with a passenger, ignoring the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions the rest of us are following.”
Refusing bail, Judge Meehan described the incident as “outrageous offending”.