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Terror suspect can travel to England to spend Christmas with his partner, judge rules

By Ashleigh McDonald

A west Belfast man awaiting trial on charges arising from the discovery of guns and Semtex at a house in Ballymurphy has had his bail conditions varied to allow him to spend Christmas with his partner in Sunderland.

Kevin Nolan, from Stewartstown Road in Dunmurry, is due to be tried next month.

The 47-year-old has already admitted possessing two handguns that were found during a search of his father's home last September. He has, however, denied charges linked to the Semtex find.

Following the discovery of the explosives and weapons in Belfast, Nolan was arrested at his partner's home in Sunderland.

His barrister, Eilis MacDermott QC, yesterday made an application at Belfast Crown Court to vary Nolan's bail to allow him to travel to England and spend Christmas with his partner and her three young children.

She said that since being granted bail Nolan has adhered to all conditions, adding that her client would agree to any additional conditions imposed.

Crown prosecutor Gareth Purvis said police were opposed to Nolan's bail conditions being varied to allow him to travel to Sunderland for a week for several reasons, including a risk of flight.

Judge Smyth said she would grant the application to vary Nolan's bail to allow him to spend a week at Christmas in Sunderland.

She ordered that Nolan observe a 10pm to 8am curfew, that he report to police in Sunderland three times during the week he is there, and that two sureties re-sign the bail papers.

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