Man spotted driver who ran him down on X Factor

GUILTY PLEA ... former X Factor hopeful Paige Flaherty.

GUILTY PLEA ... former X Factor hopeful Paige Flaherty.

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A SINGER was collared after knocking down a pedestrian in a stolen car - when her victim spotted her on X Factor.

Paige Flaherty stole a pink Mini from outside a house in Jarrow, South Tyneside, and drove to Newcastle where she collided with Chris Brown at a pelican crossing.

Mr Brown, who was left bruised, ended up with the wrong details for Flaherty after the accident and thought that would be the last he, or the police, saw of her.

But the 19-year-old, who was a member of girl band Twisted, was arrested when Mr Brown spotted her on the TV talent show.

At Newcastle Crown Court today, Flaherty, of Fife Avenue, Jarrow, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and driving with no insurance on August 29, 2011.

Flaherty, who has never been in trouble before, will be sentenced in April after the preparation of probation and medical reports.

Judge Esmond Faulks granted her bail in the meantime, and did not give any indication of what the sentence would be.

And the judge said at the end of the short hearing: “I don’t watch X Factor so I am out of the loop.”

Flaherty took the pink Mini, which belonged to bandmate Katie Orrock, from outside a house in Jarrow.

Jeanette Smith who prosecuted the case during an earlier hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, said the victim claimed he realised it was Flaherty who had hit him after he saw her on the television show.

She added: “He had been trying to get in touch with her by text message, but it became clear she had given him the wrong details.

“Then, weeks later, he saw the defendant auditioning on X Factor and thought it was the same person, and got in touch with the police.”

Flaherty’s band Twisted hit the headlines after the X-Factor judge Kelly Rowland told band member Chrissie Pitt, from South Shields, to ditch the rest of the band and continue as a solo artist.

Miss Pitt chose to leave the girl group, leaving the other members, including Cheryl Moody, Flaherty and Miss Orrock, furious and out of the competition.

Last year, the threesome came back as ‘KISSABEAT’, covering Jessie J’s Domino for a competition with Sky’s Starz TV.

The band won the contest, which saw the threesome record their own song Just Jealousy.

But when the song was released, Flaherty’s vocals were erased from the final version.

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