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Dissident not guilty of directing terrorism

By John Cassidy

Published 01/07/2015

A dissident republican has been found not guilty of directing terrorism and being a member of a banned organisation.

Judge David McFarland said there was "no hard evidence'' that Thomas Ashe Mellon was a member of the IRA or had a "directing role, at any level of it, either as a member or outside its structures''.

The Belfast Recorder added: "The often quoted phrase that the proverbial dogs on the street may have reached certain conclusions in relation to matters is of no evidence. This court does not rely on canine intuition, but rather on hard evidence.''

Mellon (39), of Rathmore Road, Derry, had gone on trial last week where he denied being a member or professing to be a member of the IRA and directing its activities on dates between December 31, 2013 and June 7, 2014.

He and his co-accused William McDonnell (28), of Culaduff Gardens, Derry, had previously pleaded guilty to possessing a handwritten note linked to terrorism. Both men will be sentenced at the end of this week for possession of the note.

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