A MAN appeared in court on Saturday in connection with the death of a six-year-old girl in a road accident.

Ian Carr, 27, of Ashington, appeared before South East Northumberland magistrates, in nearby Bedlington, to face a string of motoring offences.

They arose out of the incident in which Rebecca Sawyer died when a stolen Vauxhall Astra ploughed into her family car on New Year's Eve.

Carr, who was arrested two days after the tragedy, faced charges of causing death by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, having no insurance, failing to stop after an accident, failing to report an accident and taking a vehicle without consent.

Carr, who only nodded to confirm his details and indicate he understood the charges, was remanded in custody to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday. No application for bail was made.

Rebecca's 18-month-old sister, Kirsty, is still in a critical condition in Newcastle General Hospital, after suffering severe injuries in the incident.

The family's Citroen Saxo, driven by their 33-year-old father Steven, was struck by the stolen Vauxhall Astra at the junction of College Road and Sixth Avenue.

Mr Sawyer's wife, Sharon, 33, a staff nurse, was at their home in nearby Malvern Close, resting before starting a shift at Wansbeck General Hospital.

One man was arrested at the scene and two others, a man and a woman, gave themselves up to police on New Year's Day.

All three were later bailed by police, pending further inquiries.