Belfast Telegraph

Man to be tried over multiple bomb hoaxes

By Paul Higgins

A man has been sent to the Crown Court to be tried for causing multiple bomb hoaxes in his home town, including at a police station and a youth club.

Kieran Lavery told Craigavon Magistrates Court he was aware of the 18 charges he faced and that he was not objecting to the preliminary enquiry being held.

Lavery, from Meadowbrook, Tullygally in Craigavon, faces a total of 16 offences of communicating false information to 999 operators "to induce the belief that a bomb or some other thing would explode or ignite" and two further charges of placing articles, both on the Tullygally Road East, "with the intention of inducing in some other person a belief that it was likely to explode or ignite and thereby cause personal injury or damage to property".

All of the offences are alleged to have occurred on various dates between 19 May last year and 31 January this year at different locations such as close to Lavery's home on the Tullygally Road East, Brownlow Leisure Centre, Brownlow College, Drumgor Youth Club and Craigavon PSNI Station.

Although no facts of the case were opened yesterday it is understood that the hoax alerts caused widespread disruption including roads being closed and people's homes having to be evacuated as police investigated the 999 warnings in operations which cost thousands of pounds as police officers, the PSNI helicopter and the Army bomb squad were deployed.

A prosecuting lawyer submitted that on the papers, there was a prima facie case for Lavery to answer and as defence solicitor Connor Downey had no contrary submissions, District Judge Mervyn Bates said he was satisfied there was enough evidence to commit the alleged hoax bomber to the Crown Court for trial.

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