A judge has said a man accused of being involved in multiple car crashes while driving under the influence of drink and drugs is ‘as severe a risk to the public as one could be.’
District Judge Barney McElholm made the comment as 32-year-old Samuel Raymond Patterson appeared at the local magistrate’s court.
Patterson, of Strathearn Park, Belfast, is charged with burglary of a house in Belfast, dangerous driving, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assaulting police.
The charges relate to alleged incidents between October 23 and 25.
Derry Magistrate’s Court heard allegations Patterson was involved in various collisions between Strabane and Derry and almost forced a number of cars off the road.
No one was injured in these collisions.
The car allegedly driven by the defendant was travelling at great speed and swerving over white lines, causing other drivers to break sharply to avoid a collision.
The car also allegedly went around a roundabout in the wrong direction against the flow of traffic.
It is further alleged Patterson over took lines of traffic and drove in the wrong lane.
The car was also involved in a three-car collision at a set of traffic lights at the Craigavon Bridge.
The car became wedged between two other vehicles and Patterson allegedly got out and walked off.
It is alleged he was detained by members of the public and when police arrived he ran off.
He was arrested and taken into custody, where it is alleged he admitted consuming alcohol and drugs.
His car was searched and the court heard £10,000 was discovered.
The court was told Patterson’s behaviour was ‘erratic’ and he was so intoxicated he was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital.
However, when in hospital medical staff were unable to treat him because he was so aggressive and he was taken back into police custody.
It alleged he ‘went ballistic’ and bit and officer on the hand.
This officer is ‘now on a regime of anti-viral drugs’.
Opposing bail, an investigating officer said police ‘simply do not trust this man to be out in the public domain. He poses a clear risk due to his drug use’.
He said Patterson did not sober up for more than 20 hours and has a previous conviction for drug supply.
The officer added that the defendant also has 21 other motoring convictions on his record.
A defence solicitor told the court his client has complied with all court orders in the past.
Making reference to the money, he said Patterson had withdrawn savings with the ‘intention of going on an alcohol and drug binge’.
District Judge Barney McElholm refused bail stating his primary duty is to protect the public.
He said Patterson is ‘lucky he didn’t kill someone or several people in this escapade’.
The judge added the defendant is ‘clearly a danger to himself and predominantly a danger to the public’.
The deffendant was remanded in custody until November 10th.