Belfast Telegraph

Mortar bomb plot inmate loses legal challenge

By Alan Erwin

A man jailed over a mortar bomb plot has lost his legal challenge to being punished for meeting three prominent republicans while on temporary release.

Sean McConville was seeking to judicially review the Prison Service over being disciplined for associating with Colin Duffy, Harry Fitzsimons and Brendan Conway.

He claimed the no-contact conditions were too vague and to have suffered a breach of his human rights, but a High Court judge ruled that the stipulations were sufficiently clear and precise.

Mr Justice Stephens pointed to a police assessment of Duffy, Fitzsimons and Conway as all being "senior dissident republicans".

He said: "I also reject the ground of challenge that there was insufficient evidence that the applicant was aware that the individuals were linked to paramilitary organisations or to criminal activity."

McConville (27) is serving a 15-year sentence at HMP Maghaberry for possession of explosives discovered following a 2007 surveillance operation in Lurgan.

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