Marian Price: Old Bailey bomber walks free from court after receiving suspended sentence for terror offences
Old Bailey bomber Marian 'Price' McGlinchey walked free from court today after being given a suspended sentence for two terrorist offences.
McGlinchey previously admitted a charge of buying the mobile phone used by the Real IRA to claim responsibility for the murders of two British soldiers outside Massereene Army Barracks in March 2009.
The 59-year old, from Stockman's Avenue in west Belfast, also admitted helping out at an Real IRA Easter commemoration in April 2011, during which she was pictured holding a statement for a masked man in a Londonderry cemetery.
Sentencing McGlinchey, Judge Gordon Kerr QC told the court McGlinchey had a "significant conviction for terrorist activity" in reference to two life sentences imposed in November 1974 for her role in the Old Bailey bombing. The Judge did, however, tell the court that pre-sentence reports presented to him suggested McGlinchey was "no longer interested in political activity".
He also spoke of McGlinchey's physical and psychiatric problems, saying sending her back to jail would result in a worsening of her mental health. The court heard McGlinchey suffered from "psychotic depression" as well as a number of physical ailments including arthritis and the risk of TB. The Judge told Belfast Crown Court "there is no doubt she (McGlinchey) has significant health problems."
McGlinchey pleaded guilty to providing property for the purposes of terrorism on March 8, 2009, and for this she was handed a 12-month prison sentence. She also admitted aiding and abetting, counselling and procuring the address made to encourage support for the Real IRA at the Easter Rising parade in Londonderry on April 25, 2011, for which she received an eight month sentence. Judge Kerr ordered that the sentences run concurrently, which he then suspended for three years.
She also admitted aiding and abetting, counselling and procuring the address made to encourage support for the Real IRA at the Easter Rising parade in Derry on April 25, 2011, for which she received a nine-month sentence. During the commemoration, a masked man read a statement on behalf of the Real IRA, supporting the aims of the dissident organisation. During this address, McGlinchey held the statement for the masked man.
Judge Kerr ordered that the sentences he imposed run concurrently, which he then suspended for three years. Saying he felt there was a low risk of re-offending, the Judge warned McGlinchey that if she came before the court in the next three years, she would serve a 12-month jail term in addition to the sentence that brought her back before the court.
A spokesman for the PSNI Serious Crime Branch said: "These images illustrate that a number of people playing a part in events before, during and after the murders of Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar outside Massereene army base in March 2009.
"Despite today's sentencing, and previous acquittals, the investigation remains open. Police would appeal to anyone with any information about those involved in these murders to contact them.
"The tragic outcome of those events in March 2009 is that the Azimkar and Quinsey families are facing yet another year without their brothers and son. Anyone who knows anything about the murders or can assist in any way with the investigation should do the right thing and talk to police on 0845 600 8000."