Belfast Telegraph

New Northern Ireland jury fails to agree verdict on Syria terror accused Eamon Bradley

By Michael Donnelly

A jury has for the second time failed to reach a definitive verdict on a Londonderry man accused of terrorism in the Middle East three years ago.

At the end of the first trial in February a Derry Crown Court jury acquitted Eamon Bradley of possessing explosives, but couldn't reach a verdict on charges of attending terrorist training camps in Syria and receiving instruction in the use of weapons.

The case is the first of its kind to be prosecuted in Northern Ireland.

Yesterday, following an 11-day trial over five weeks in Omagh, another jury also told Judge Brian Sherrard that, even if granted further time, there was no prospect of it reaching a verdict.

Then, when asked if at least 10 members could agree a verdict, the jury foreman replied: "No." The first indication of a possible split in the ranks of the jury came within 10 minutes of it being asked on Monday to retire to begin deliberations.

In a note sent into court regarding clarification on some of the evidence, the jury also enquired if it had to return unanimous verdicts.

As with the previous trial, it was left to prosecuting QC Ciaran Murphy to ask Judge Sherrard to adjourn proceedings again for a week. Bradley (28), originally from Melmore Gardens in Creggan, but now with an address in the Benview estate in the Coshquin area of the city, is accused of attending Syrian terrorist camps and receiving training in the use of firearms, including an AK47 Kalashnikov, between March and September 2014.

The "bedrock" of the prosecution case was that Bradley's alleged confessions during interviews in which he told detectives of joining Syrian rebels opposed to Islamic State were true.

However, the defence claimed Bradley's admissions were unreliable, as he is unsure of the correct spelling of his own first name, and has difficulty remembering his date of birth.

The defence contended that, far from being a Muslim jihadist, Bradley's only crime was being an attention-seeking fantasist.

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