Two charges | 

Derry man accused of ramming police car claims he ‘was having sex with girlfriend at time’

Ruairi Canning, a 31-year-old father-of-two, denies the two charges

The damaged caused

George JacksonBelfast Telegraph

A man denies being the driver who rammed a police car in Derry – because at the time of the incident he was having sex with his girlfriend.

Ruairi Canning, a 31-year-old father-of-two, denies two charges of attempted grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving, as well as driving while disqualified and without insurance and failing to report an accident, remain at the scene of an accident and failing to stop.

Outlining the case, a police officer told Derry Magistrates Court that they received a report last Friday night from a member of the public who said they were concerned about the dangerous manner in which a maroon-coloured Volvo S60 was being driven in the Skeoge area of the city.

The reporting person said the car had narrowly missed pedestrians and he named the driver, the defendant, to the police.

Members of a mobile patrol went to the area. They spotted the Volvo car and radioed for back-up. The car was parked in the middle of the Buncrana Road, close to its junction with the Upper Galliagh Road.

“Initially they [the police sergeant and the constable] thought the driver was going to give himself up and the sergeant got out and approached the Volvo. The sergeant heard the Volvo revving and he drew his baton, with the intention of striking the car windscreen. The car then reversed towards him at speed and he had to jump out of the way.

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“The officer in the police car tried to block the road but the Volvo connected with the police vehicle, causing significant damage.

“The sergeant also sustained slight injuries to his neck and right arm as he had to jump out of the way of the Volvo, which, after the incident, drove off towards Whitehouse Park.”

Two days later, the defendant, of Brandywell Avenue, was located in his home address and arrested.

He denied being the driver of the Volvo, which is still missing.

The officer said the defendant told the police after his arrest that “he was with his girlfriend having sex at the relevant time”.

District Judge Barney McElholm said the defendant “is not a suitable candidate for bail” and he remanded the defendant in custody until February 9.

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