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Car bomb accused denied bail after receiving bullets in post

By Alan Erwin

Published 11/11/2016

Charged: Sean McVeigh was judged a flight risk
Charged: Sean McVeigh was judged a flight risk

A man accused of planting a bomb under a police officer's car received bullets in the post warning him that he was a "dead man walking", the High Court was told yesterday.

Letters delivered to Sean McVeigh's family home also declared an intention to shoot him on sight, prosecutors revealed.

Details emerged as a judge overturned a decision to grant compassionate bail for the 35-year-old to attend the christening of his newborn child.

McVeigh, of Victoria Street in Lurgan, Co Armagh, faces charges of attempted murder and possessing explosives with intent to endanger life.

The alleged offences relate to the discovery of a bomb underneath a policeman's car in Eglinton, Co Londonderry on June 18 last year.

The target's wife, also a serving PSNI officer, woke in the middle of the night to discover a man planting the viable device, a previous court heard. The would-be bomber fled after she hammered on the bedroom window.

A circumstantial case allegedly links McVeigh and two other men to the terrorist attack.

They were arrested by gardai who stopped a Volkswagen Passat later the same night across the border in Co Donegal, but were released unconditionally after clothing was taken for forensic examination.

McVeigh was said to have remained in the Irish Republic until detained by the PSNI at Portadown train station in May this year.

Earlier this week a District Judge granted compassionate bail for McVeigh to attend the christening service in Craigavon later this month.

But the prosecution appealed against his temporary release, citing fears he could flee.

With investigations into the threats continuing, Mr Justice Burgess was told police have concerns about protecting the safety of members of the public connected to the accused.

Dessie Hutton, defending, stressed his client was only seeking out of custody for four hours.

He also rejected any suggestions of an "audacious" attempt on the life of the surety while in McVeigh's company for that period.

However, the judge denied release from custody due to the risk of flight.

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