A Co. Tyrone man has admitted causing the death of a pedestrian in a horrific crash by driving a pick-up truck dangerously which it transpired he had taken without the owner's permission.

Ciaran Lee Wootton (25), from Main Street, Newtownstewart, also accepted causing the death of Elaine McGarrity by driving while uninsured, and after taking the Toyota Hilux without the consent of the owner.

Dungannon Magistrates Court heard last Thursday, March 16, that Mrs. McGarrity (54) was walking along Brownlink Link, Irvinestown at 9am on December 31, 2021 when she was struck by a pick-up driven by Wootton.

Arrested at the scene, it further emerged he did not have permission to drive the vehicle.

The victim – a mother of two, and a grandmother of four – passed away, having sustained very severe injuries.

While Wootton initially pleaded not guilty to all charges at Dungannon Crown Court last month, it was stressed this was a holding position, as he fully accepted causing Mrs. McGarrity’s death; however, defence lawyers requested some time to study CCTV footage.

Having returned to court, it was explained this had since been viewed, and following consultation, the charges could be put to Wootton again.

This was done, and all matters were admitted.

Defence counsel told the court: “I say clearly, without equivocation, my client accepts responsibility for causing death by his dangerous driving, and this has been followed-up [by guilty pleas] when I was satisfied with the proofs.”

He continued: “There is an issue by way of a psychiatric background to this case, connected in part to the delay in getting the case dealt to court."

As such, the defence has retained a consultant psychiatrist to carry out an assessment of Wootton, and to provide an expert report.

This is expected to be completed by mid-May.

Pre-sentence reports are also to be obtained, and Victim Impact Statements are expected to be provided by Mrs. McGarrity’s family.

Judge Richard Greene KC imposed an interim driving disqualification on Wootton, and remanded him on continuing bail to attend for sentencing on May 22.