Man who refused bail over tag allowed home for Christmas

A DERRY man who turned down bail because it meant he would be electronically tagged has been granted compassionate bail for Christmas – without a tag.

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Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland told 44-year-old Anthony Michael Taylor, who is accused of having a rifle linked to dissident republicans, would not have to wear the tag because he would only be on bail from Christmas Eve until St Stephen‘s Day. However, the Crown Court judge said all other condititions of his origional full bail would remain. They include the lodgement of £50,000 to the court; that he resides at Farmhill, Derry; reports daily to the police and observes an 8pm curfew each evening. Taylor, a member of Repulican Netwok for Unity (RNU), is accused possessing a semi-automatic rifle with intent to endanger life and under suspicious circumstances on August 2, 2011. It was alleged at an earlier hearing that he could be linked to the car in which the rifle was later found. A prosecution lawyer said that Taylor had been granted full bail but had failed to perfect it because it would involve wearing the tag, which was “a real issue for the accused…. a matter of principal”. The lawyer added hat given his family circumstances, the prosecution were not unsympathetic to his situation in wanting bail over the holiday period. Eugene Grant QC, defending, said while Taylor did not take his full bail, all he wanted now was the opportunity to spend a few days with his family over Christmas. Mr Grant said one way of dealing with any fear of him absconding over the three days was for the police to call on him, if necessary.

With many thanks to: The Irish News.

TRIO DENY HAVING ARMOUR-PIERCING BOMB

THREE Derry men appeared before Belfast Crown Court yesterday to deny having an armour-piercing bomb. 

HELD IN CUSTODY: From left, Jason Ceulemans, Damien Hark in and Neil Hegarty at previous court appearances. All three appeared before Belfast Crown Court yesterday charged with possessing an armour-piercing bomb with intent to endanger life on December 6 last year. All were remanded back into custody until their trial which is due to take place in November

Jason Ceulemans (41), Damien Harkin (48) and Neil Hegarty (48) pleaded not guilty to possessing “an explosively formed projectile-type improvised device” with intent to endanger life on December 6 last year. Ceulemans, of Lecky Road, Harkin, of Westland Avenue, and Hegarty, of Sackville Court, also denied having the device under suspicious circumstances and possessing two walkie-talkies and a torch for terrorist purpose. The arraignment on a count of conspiring together to cause an explosion was adjourned for legal applicatins to be heard. Previous court hearings have been told that an explosively formed projectile is a special type of shaped charge designed to penetrate armour effectively at distances and that such devices are uusually fired by rocket. The device was found in a car stopped by police in Derry’s Creggan area. Judge David McFarland remanded all three defendants back into custody until their trial, due to take place in November.

With many thanks to : The Irish News.

MAN JAILED FOR STORING WEAPONS

A “RRELUCTANT store man” who was caught red handed with a small arsenal of weaponry has been jailed for more than three years.

Some of the weapons found on Thomas John Edwards. He was jailed yesterday for six and a half years, with half spent on licence.

Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland told 49-year-old Thomas John Edwards he accepted he had been under a degree of pressure from others to become a “reluctant store man” for the items. He sentenced him to six and a half years with half spent on licence. Just before his trial was due to start last July EEdwards, from Tullygalley in Craigavon, pleaded guilty to having guns, ammunition and explosives with intent to enable others to endanger life on 10 August 2011. Edwards also admitted possessing a balaclava for terrorist purposes and providing his home, for terrorism. Prosecuting QC Ciaran Murphy told Belfast Crown Court that in an intelligence led operation, police searched Edwards home and uncovered the items at locations in the house.

An AK47 assault rifle along with numerous bullets were found. The grip stock and trigger mechanism for a recoil less improvised grenade launcher was uncovered in a bag in the kitchen cupboard while 5.1 grammes of black arms propellant was hidden inside s pepper pot. Mr Murphy said that wrapped in a yellow in a yellow duster in the same cupboard was an automatic Beretta pistol with a loaded magazine. He added that in total, police found 46 bullets and told the court how small arms propellant was commonly used in pipe bombs while a grenade launcher was first used in an attack in Belfast in May 1991 but “has been encountered on a number of other occasions”. Following the sentencing, PSNI Detective Superintendent Glenn Wright of Serious Crime Branch said: “Mr Edwards is in jail, the weapons are off the streets. This is yet aanother example of the PSNI’s determination to protect the community and bring terrorists to justice.”

With many thanks to : The Irish News.

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