Passenger in stolen car jailed for nine months

A man who was a passenger in a stolen car which drove at a pregnant woman has been jailed for nine months.

Michael Flannery, whose address was given as Newington Street, Belfast, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and two charges of aggravated vehicle taking.

The charges relate to an incident on November 6, 2011.

Derry Magistrates Court heard two cars were stolen during a creeper burglary in Belfast.

There was no evidence to connect 27-year-old Flannery to the burglaries, however he was a passenger in one of the stolen cars as it travelled to Derry.

The court heard that the car was stopped at traffic lights at the bottom deck of the Craigavon bridge when it shunted forward and hit the car in front.

It was revealed a pregnant woman was driving this vehicle and her young son was a passenger.

When she went to speak to Flannery, the driver of the stolen car the “drove towards her”.

During police interview Flannery said he suspected the car was stolen but he had nothing to do with the creeper burglary.

It was revealed that the 27-year-old was in breach of two suspended sentences at the time of the offences.

A defence solicitor told the court her client had been drinking on that day and received a text message asking him if he wanted to go to Derry. She said he was “extremely reckless” when he decided to get into the car.

Jailing Flannery, District Judge Barney McElholm also banned him from driving for a year.