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At Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday the 35-year-old was convicted of four offences, including two counts of causing an explosion.
The charges relate to two incidents in north Belfast in May 2013.
The judge remanded Connor in custody and said sentencing will take place on 20 August.
The court previously heard that Connor made bogus 999 calls to police on two separate occasions.
In the first incident on 16 May, Connor made a trial run and threw a pipe bomb on the Ligoniel Road.
Later, on 28 May, she lured police to the Crumlin Road before attacking them from an alleyway with two pipe bombs.
In the second hoax call Connor tearfully claimed her name was Gemma and she was the victim of domestic abuse.
Police attended a house on the Crumlin Road, and as one officer was knocking the front door, a pipe bomb was thrown at another officer from a nearby alleyway.
As he tried to evade the explosion, the officer tripped on a kerb and as he lay prone, a second pipe bomb was thrown onto the road.
Connor was first convicted in 2017 and jailed for 16 years, but was released in December 2018 after appeal judges overturned her conviction and ordered a retrial.
Connor, whose address is subject to a reporting restriction, denied the offences.
She was found guilty of one count of attempted murder, one count of preparation of terrorist acts and two counts of causing explosion likely to endanger life.
Connor was linked to the charges with DNA evidence from clothing as well as mobile phone evidence and CCTV.
The judge said the prosecution’s case was built on a “combination of circumstantial, physical and forensic evidence” and that he was satisfied that Connor has searched online for how to make pipe bombs.
He ruled that she was “clearly involved in the planning, making and deployment of the pipe bombs,” and that her intention was to kill the police officer.
Connor stood trial in a non-jury hearing at the end of 2019.
Giving his ruling on Wednesday, the judge said that having had “the benefit of seeing and hearing the defendant give evidence and be cross-examined…I found her evasive, argumentative and, when it suited her, refused to answer questions.”
A woman has described as “ridiculous” an allegation that she transported pipe bombs in a supermarket bag just prior to an attack on police.
Christine Connor, 34, whose address is subject to a reporting restriction, is on trial before Belfast Crown Court.
She denies six charges arising from two incidents in the north of the city in May 2013.
The first occurred on 16 May, with the second taking place on 28 May.
Ms Connor, who was called to the witness box on Tuesday, has been charged with, and denies, two counts of possessing explosives with intent, two counts of causing an explosion with intent to endanger life, attempting to murder a police constable and the preparation of terrorist acts.
Under questioning from her barrister, Tim Moloney QC, Ms Connor spoke of her republican background and her involvement with the Republican Network for Unity (RNU).
When questioned about the two incidents in north Belfast, Connor admitted she was out for an early morning walk in the area at the time of the second incident, but denied involvement in both.
Mr Moloney asked his client about her education, family background and employment history.
She was then asked whether republican politics was an important part of her upbringing, to which she said “yes, very much so”.
Ms Connor said that around late 2012 and early 2013, she was actively involved with RNU which she described as “a political organisation, not an armed group”.
Ms Connor said she and other members took part in protests, pickets and camp outs “to highlight the plight of republican prisoners”, with one such protest taking place outside the Alliance Party headquarters in south Belfast as at that time the party’s David Ford was justice minister.
She was asked about former co-accused Stuart Downes, who was charged with offences linked to the incident.
Downes, who the Crown say assisted Ms Connor by purchasing component parts for the pipe bombs and ensuring they were delivered to Northern Ireland, died in June 2016.
Ms Connor denied communicating with Mr Downes and when she was asked if she ever pretended to be Swedish model Sanne Andersson, she replied “no”.
Mr Moloney then questioned his client about movie clips – one of which was found on Mr Downes’ phone and another on a laptop found in a mattress in her bedroom.
It is the Crown’s case that one of the clips is Ms Connor conducting a “dry-run” of the route she planned to take before launching the first pipe bomb attack on 16 May.
Connor was charged alongside Stuart Downes from Shrewsbury.
The 31-year old was subsequently granted bail and was found dead in woodland near his home in June 2016.
The judge said that between February and May 2013 “they researched pipe bombs, with Downes purchasing component parts and ensuring they were dispatched to and received in Northern Ireland where they were deployed by Connor.”
During the trial, the prosecution said Connor and Downes met online and established a relationship when Connor was posing as a blonde Swedish model called Sanne Anderson.
When arrested, Connor denied she knew Downes and rejected claims she communicated with him.
She continued these denials during the trial, but in his ruling the judge said there was overwhelming evidence to suggest otherwise.
The court heard that the month before the two explosions, an “intense relationship” via SMS and Facebook messages developed between Connor and Downes as they researched information on pipe bombs.
During her arrest on 29 May 2013 police searched Connor’s home and found two laptops and a phone hidden in a mattress in a bedroom.
When these devices were examined a movie file was located which depicted a woman walking in north Belfast and talking about police.
This video was described as a ‘practice run’ and despite denials she had made the video, it was ruled that it was Connor in the film. This same clip was also located on Downes’ mobile.
The judge also ruled that the laptops found in the mattress were linked to Connor, and that prior to the May 2013 explosions, online searches such as ‘how to make pipe bombs in your kitchen’ had been made.
Speaking outside court, Det Supt Richard Campbell described the case as “hugely complex and unusual” with several UK police services working together to gather evidence.
“This was an attack on police officers, who were carrying out their role of protecting communities,” he said.
“I would like to pay particular thanks to them. This was a traumatic experience for them and I acknowledge that as victims they have waited a very long time for today’s outcome.
“Today’s conviction is the result of excellent joint working between the PSNI and West Mercia Police alongside the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and we will now await the sentencing.”
With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story
Follow these links to find out more: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/christine-connor-trial-pipe-bomb-allegations-ridiculous-says-defendant-38771651.html
The 14-year-old went missing on 21 June. His body was found in a storm drain in north Belfast six days later.
Follow this link to find out more: https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3223334997746252&id=100002093504519&set=a.439170419496071&source=48
He was travelling to Cave Hill country park to meet friends on the day of his disappearance, the Irish News has reported.
A spokesperson for his family said the “post-mortem raises more questions than answers”.
Andree Murphy, from Relatives for Justice, told BBC News NI that the family are asking for anyone with information, particularly CCTV footage that might track his movements, to come forward.
Follow this link to find out more: https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3223336044412814&id=100002093504519&set=a.439170419496071&source=48&ref=bookmarks
A small, private funeral service was held for the 14-year-old at St Patrick’s Church on Donegall Street in Belfast on 1 July.
Mourners lined the streets to pay their respect to the popular St Malachy’s College pupil.
According to the Irish News, Noah was doing work towards his Duke of Edinburgh award on the day he went missing and it is believed he brought his laptop to gain extra credits during his time off school.
A number of items belonging to him – including his black Apollo mountain bike and some clothing – were found during search operations.
Noah’s phone and laptop were also recovered by police and the family are keen to have these returned to them, the Irish News said.
They have not yet been told if the PSNI have examined the phone’s GPS, the newspaper added.
The family believe the phone’s mapping system may have information on the final movements of the teenager. The disappearance of the grammar school pupil caused a widespread outpouring of grief and sympathy.
Supt Muir Clark said that police “continue to investigate the tragic death of Noah on behalf of the coroner.”
Follow this link to find out more: https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3223353204411098&id=100002093504519&set=a.439170419496071&source=48
He said police were finalising a leaflet appealing for information.
It will be distributed to households where the occupants were unavailable to speak to police during the initial stages when Noah disappeared.
“We are aware of media reports stating that the family had been told this proposed leaflet drop had already been undertaken. This is not the case. This may have arisen through a misunderstanding,” he said.
“While respecting that this is a very painful time, police are in contact with Noah’s mother to ensure that she is up to date on the investigation,” he added.
In a tribute to those who helped to search for the schoolboy, the message added: “Noah’s love was great enough to reach the selfless hearts of north Belfast and beyond as they showed overwhelming compassion and empathy in bringing Noah home. Love has no boundaries.”
The Donohoe family say a clip of Noah playing the guitar on Mother’s Day is how he should be remembered.
Ms Murphy has again appealed on behalf of the family for anyone with information to come forward.
“We would like to make another appeal to the public, on behalf of the family, please bring forward any information they may have, particularly any CCTV on the evening of Fathers Day,” Ms Murphy said.
With many thanks to: BBC NewsNI for the original story
A quantity of suspected ammunition was seized on Thursday following police searches linked to the Continuity IRA.
Police searched properties in west Belfast and Newtownabbey as part of an ongoing investigation into violent dissident republican activity.
A 37-year-old man arrested in Newtownabbey on Thursday night under the Terrorism Act has been released unconditionally.
A 31-year-old man, arrested in Belfast earlier on Thursday remains in custody.
With many thanks to: BBC News NI for the original story
George Hamilton, who was appointed chief constable in June 2014, said he informed the Policing Board of his intention to leave the service in June.
A police officer for nearly 34 years, he said the greatest privilege of his career “had been to serve as chief constable”.
He said NI was a “much more peaceful and progressive society” than it was when he began his police career.
The announcement has come as a surprise to the chief constable’s senior colleagues and members of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.
He had been expected to accept a three-year contract extension that was offered when he met the board last week.
His decision to decline the offer followed discussions with his wife and four children over the Christmas period.
Sources say George Hamilton broke the news to his senior command team this morning and then informed the board chairman, Anne Connolly.
He told them he is retiring to spend more time with his family.
No current member of the PSNI command team can apply to succeed Mr Hamilton as chief constable.
The current eligibility criteria states that an applicant must have completed a national senior command course and served at least two years in a police force outside Northern Ireland.
After joining the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) – the predecessor of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) – in 1985, he worked in a number of roles including a stint as assistant chief constable of Strathclyde Police.
“I am privileged and humbled to have led the dedicated officers and staff of the PSNI and to have worked in partnership with so many people committed to public service in Northern Ireland and beyond,” said Mr Hamilton.
He said that there were challenges in the months and years ahead “but we have overcome greater challenges in the past and there is nothing that cannot be achieved if the police, our partners and the community continue to work together”.
Anne Connolly says the board needs to put in place a process for the appointment of a new chief constable
Anne Connolly, chairwoman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, said the board respected Mr Hamilton’s decision not to accept a three-year contract extension last week.
She said recruitment for a new chief constable would be considered at a meeting on 6 February.
The Policing Board was established as part of policing reforms after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which helped bring about the end of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
George Hamilton’s police CV
1985: Joined Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
1994: Promoted to RUC inspector and seconded to England for development programmes
1997: Returned to uniform patrol in NI and subsequently worked on Patten policing reforms
2002: Worked as a senior detective in PSNI’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID)
2007: Appointed district commander for south and east Belfast
2009: Joined Strathclyde Police as assistant chief constable
2011: Returned to NI as PSNI assistant chief constable
2014: Appointed PSNI’s fourth chief constable
With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story
Follow this Link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=zqJVVhyU2ns
With many thanks to: Aaron Andrew – Irish All Over The World.
This reads that the police stopped me on grosvenor road & asked me for my license, they then say they stopped me on Stanley street (inside grosvenor police station)
The truth of this is that on that day, I was dragged from my car, arrested/detained under section 43 of the terrorism act & made to go grosvenor road psni where I was searched & my car was searched for 1 hour 40 mins where my phone was seized & car damaged
Then after I left the same officer approached me & proceeded to stop me from moving claiming road traffic order
They are now claiming that my car was full of tools & I was working as an aerial installer & are charging me with having inappropriate insurance
Not once during this whole fiasco was this mentioned nor does it mention the truth anywhere in this statement
With many thanks to: Ciárán Daly.
SO IT can be done. The RUC/PSNI has faced down loyalist rioting in Carrickfergus, thought to have been orchestrated as a warning against arresting members of the ‘bad’ UDA.
The RUC/PSNI has wiselyaking arrests in Carrickfergus while investigating a riot in Larne two weeks ago, also thought to have been orchestrated as a warning against arresting members of the bad UDA. The trouble in Carrickfergus broke out last Thursday evening, ironically just and the Queen had hosted a reception in Windsor Castle to celebrate all that is greet about the North of Ireland. Fifty masked men engaged in three hours of serious disorder, reportedly after a gun was found during a police search of a senior UDA man’s address. The RUC/PSNI responded robustly to this challenge to its authority, warning that further was planned for the following night then swamping the area to prevent it. Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr identified the South East Antrim UDA as responsible and warned police will “disabuse” it of any notion it is “in control”. This does not appear to Eastny empty threat. Investigations into the Larne rioting have continued, with 16 arrests, 40 properties searched and 800 items seized as of the end of last week. “There will be consequences” for the Carrickfergus rioting as well, Kerr added. The line being drawn in Carrickfergus suggests a firm reversal of the appeasement policy that saw the RUC/PSNI apologise to “community representatives and others” for provoking UVF riots in the town three years ago. If so, it is a welcome devolopment but it raises the question of why an equally robust approach cannot be taken towards the bad UVF in east Belfast. Where are the arrests, searches and seizures targeting loyalist ring-leaders after three years of rioting there? Far too many damaging conspiracy theories have filled the void left by that lingering question. However, the simplest and likeliest explanation remains the one given, albeit obliquely, by the RUC/PSNI. Loyalism in east Belfsat is beleived by senior officers to be too big and dangerous to takle head on. This is why Cheif Constable Matt ( the maggot) Baggott repeats a mantra about the “right to life” and congratulated the PSNI/RUC for getting through the year of flag protests without any fatalities.
Other police statements about “public support” for loyalists and the need for policing to have “community consent” are similarly code for not provoking deadly violence. Despite the fashionable language and arcane backroom dealing there is no particular principle at work in the appeasement of the bad UVF. It is merely a problem of scale. The RUC/PSNI has made a calculation of risk versus resources and decided it cannot take the Carrickfergus approach in east Belfast. Once stated, this looks obvious but the point is that it is never openly stated. The RUC/PSNI is not telling the Policing Board or the Stormont executive to provide it with the resources to put the ‘bad’ UVF out of business. Instead, it is making excuses for itself that feed further official appeasement, such as the executive’s ‘social investment fund’ for loyalist-nominated projects or the Policing Board’s acquiescence of UVF-linked members of local Policing Partnerships. If the RUC/PSNI would admit to what is going on in east Belfast there would be less paranoia and just importantly there could be a proper assessment of the varibles. How much more dangerous is delinquent loyalism in east Belfast than in South East Antrim? Last week’s trouble in Carrickfergus was modest but the 2011 rioting was widespread, extraodinarily violent and organised almost immediately. Carricfergus also witnessed larger and more disruptive flag protests than east Belfast, with more loyalist input, at least initially. Yet existing resources, deployed promptly and wisely, appear to have loyalist brigadies in retreat. On the other side of the equation, is the the risk of tackling loyalism being offset against the risk of not tackling it? Over the past year the UVF in east Belfast has been linked to two attempted murders and and more than a dozen drugs-related deaths. The Human Rights Act places the right to life secondary to “quelling a riot” because it understands that all rights ultimately rest on the rule of law. We should have a new cheif constable by October. Even if he or she does not admit to making a loyalist calculation, they may reach a different answer. That just leaves the small matter of the ‘good’ UDA and UVF, who are apparently still among the things that are great about the North of Ireland.
With many thanks to: Newton Emerson, The Irish News, ( for the origional story).
TWO IRA men were shot in the back by SAS soldiers in Co Tyrone 30 years ago, a report has found. The families of Colm McGirr (23) and Brian Campbell (19) on Monday 30th December said they planned to sue the British government and wanted fresh inquests into their deaths.
The news came as US diplomat Richard Haass failed to make the party’s in the North of Ireland come to an agreement on dealing with the past, parades and flags. Among the issues holding up the progress have been mechanisms for giving evidence to Historical inquires by bodies taking over the functions of the PSNI‘s/RUC‘s Historical Enquires Team (HET) and the Police Ombudsman. The fresh report into the Co Tyrone killings was carried out by a forensic pathologist for the HET. It appears to contradict accounts given by the undercover soldiers who claimed the pair were shot dead while pointing weapons towards them. Mr McGirr and Mr Campbell, who were members of the Provisional IRA, were murdered by the SAS in a field on Cloghog Road near Coalisland, Co Tyrone, on December 4 1983. A third man was injured but escaped. Their deaths fuelled claims of a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy by the British government against IRA members.
Testimony from the soldiers had claimed that the men were removing weapons hidden in the field and on being challenged “Colm McGirr turned and pointed a shotgun towards one of the soldiers who then fired several shots at him”. Forensic pathologist Richard Shepherd reviewed the postmortem examination scene photographs and statements from four of the six soldiers prescent. He said he did “not believe Colm McGirr would have turned far enough to threaten soldiers” and “no shots had struck Brian Campbell from the front”. In his report, which the families have received, he concluded that because Mr McGirr was right handed, he did “not believe he would have turned far enough to threaten soldiers” if he was holding a weapon. “In my opinion therefore it is more likely that [Mr McGirr] received shots to his right side and back as he was facing into or towards the bush,” he said. The SAS also claimed one of the squad, known as Soldier A, then fired towards Brian Campbell who was holding an armalite rifle and had also turned and was facing them” However, Dr Shepherd concluded that “no shots had struck Brian Campbell form the front”. “I cannot exclude the possibility that the injury to the left upper back was inflicted as he lay on the ground,” he said, without ruling out the soldiers’ version of events in both cases. The IRA men’s families have now called for a fresh inquest into their deaths/murders. Solicitor Padraig O Muirigh, acting on behalf of the relatives said they would also take legal action against the British government.
“This report raises serious concerns in relation to the original soldiers’ statements,” he said. “In light of the disclosure of the Dr Shepherd’s report the families have made an application to the attorney general to direct a fresh inquest into the deaths/murders of Colm McGirr and Brian Campbell. “They will also be issuing civil proceedings against the minister of defence in relation to the unlawful actions of the soldiers.” Colm McGirr’s brother Brian (58), from Coalisland, claimed the British army discovered the arms cache three days earlier on December 1, but the weapons were not removed or disabeled. “We have no doubt that a carefully planned ambush was set by undercover British security forces that evening,” he said. “Through the 30 years that have passed we have sought the truth of what happened. We were led to bbelieve that the PSNI’s/RUC’s Historical Enquiries Team would make every effort to achieve the truth. “As part of this, a second pathologist has confirmed that the shootings could not have happened as described by security forces. Both men, Colm and Brian, were shot in cold blood in the back.” Mr McGirr said the families have been informed that the HSE investigation “is at an end and will proceed no further”. “We lived with a charade of an inquest in early years with no evidence of any sort offered as to what occurred. The McGirr and Campbell families will continue to demand that a new inquest is held to fully investigate all that occourred on that evening.” Reacting to the findings on Monday nnight, Dungannon Independent Republican councillor Barry Monteith said he was “not surprised” by the pathologist’s review and accused the British government of operating a ‘shot-to-kill policy in the North of Ireland. However, Dungannon DUP councillor Samuel Brush said he had no confidence in the HET. “There are dozens and dozens of murders around this area in South Tyrone that have not been looked at,” he said. “It baffles me that these things didn’t ccome to light then and can be turned up. “All we can do is work on reports as they come but is this report any better or any worse than the previous ones?”
With many thanks toto: The Irish News.
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