Belfast Telegraph

Stop and search move unlawful

By Staff Reporter

Government failure to consult on fundamental changes to stop and search guidelines for police in Northern Ireland was unlawful, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Treacy held that Secretary of State Theresa Villiers had not met the required duty on amendments to a draft code of practice.

His verdict came in a legal challenge mounted by a man who claims he has been regularly subjected to the procedure.

Emmet McAreavey said until January 2012 he was provided with a written docket every time police exercised their powers under the Justice and Security (NI) Act 2007.

Since then, however, no record was given other than a partly completed card. Mr McAreavey's case centred on public consultation around a draft code of practice initiated in December 2012.

It included a provision that any officer carrying out the operation must, where possible, provide a copy of the record via a portable printer.

Delivering judgment, Mr Justice Treacy said: "The failure to reconsult in respect of fundamental changes to the final code was unlawful."

First Communion bail for accused

A Co Antrim man awaiting trial on explosives charges has been granted compassionate bail to attend his stepdaughter's First Communion.

Niall Lehd (25), of Seahill Road, Larne, was granted bail by Belfast Crown Court despite police objections as he faced "serious offences''.

Lehd has been on remand charged with two counts of possession of explosives with intent, possession of explosives in suspicious circumstances and possession of firearms and ammunition in suspicious circumstances between December 1, 2013 and March 1, 2013.

The charges relate to the discovery of home-made explosive substances.

He is further accused of having a magazine compatible with a sub-machine-gun.

Judge McFarland agreed to grant compassionate bail. Lehd will stand trial next month.

Glass found in Sainsbury's olives

Glass has been found in some jars of Sainsbury's olives, the supermarket giant said yesterday.

A small number of jars are involved and there has been a product recall as a precautionary measure.

A spokeswoman said: "Glass has been found in a small number of jars of Sainsbury's 350g green pitted olives. We take food safety very seriously and have removed them from sale as a precautionary measure.

"We are asking customers to return jars with a best before date of 13/1/17 to a Sainsbury's store for a full refund."

She said the company was working closely with the supplier and an investigation was under way as to how the incident had happened.

It as understood no-one was injured or had taken ill through eating the olives. The number of jars in which glass was found was in single figures.

Bird disease feared at reservoir

Urgent action needs to be taken to curb any potential outbreak of avian botulism at Portavoe reservoir, the Green Party has warned.

Dead cormorants and black-headed gulls were found on the shore of the Co Down reservoir last week after it had been drained for maintenance.

More than a week after the Belfast Telegraph highlighted the bird deaths, the cause remains a mystery. North Down Green MLA and party leader Steven Agnew warned the birds may have died of avian botulism due to eating infected fish or mussels which died as the water receded.

"The draining of Portavoe reservoir has already proved upsetting for local residents," he said. "If there is now an outbreak of avian botulism, it could prove devastating to wildlife."

Pupils to grow own fruit and veg

Pupils at four schools are set to transform their surroundings as part of a major gardening campaign.

Hart Memorial PS in Portadown, St MacNissi's PS in Larne, Knockavoe School and St Mary's Boys School, both in Strabane, have just received kits that will allow them to grow their own fruit and vegetables from scratch.

Lough View Integrated PS in Belfast, which beat off competition from schools across the UK to win the challenge last year, is also taking part.

The grow kits were donated to 100 schools across the UK as part of the Stewart Garden Schools Campaign with Pippa Greenwood 2014, which is challenging schools to make the most creative use of their kits.

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