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Woman accused of trying to murder police is still in custody because she 'won't wear tag'

By Ashleigh McDonald

Published 02/06/2015

A 29-year-old woman accused of attempting to murder a police officer in north Belfast two years ago has been held on remand ever since because she refuses to wear a tag, a court has heard
A 29-year-old woman accused of attempting to murder a police officer in north Belfast two years ago has been held on remand ever since because she refuses to wear a tag, a court has heard

A 29-year-old woman accused of attempting to murder a police officer in north Belfast two years ago has been held on remand ever since because she refuses to wear a tag, a court has heard.

Christine Connor, described in court yesterday as a dissident republican, is facing a string of charges linked to two incidents in May 2013.

Connor, whose address in Belfast cannot be published due to a reporting restriction, is facing six charges including attempted murder, causing explosives with intent to endanger life and preparing terrorist acts.

Last March, a bail application was made to the High Court on Connor's behalf and was granted on the basis that she adhere to conditions which included wearing a tag. After she refused to comply with this condition, Connor remained in custody.

She appeared in the dock of Belfast Crown Court yesterday, where a second application for bail was made. After listening to submissions, Judge Gordon Kerr QC said that whilst the court would grant bail, as Connor still refused to wear a tag, she would therefore remain in custody.

During the bail hearing, Crown prosecutor Robin Steer said there was a strong forensic link tying Connor to the two incidents which occurred in May 2013.

Mr Steer said that on May 16, 2013 a hoax 999 call was made to emergency services by a female caller who claimed she had come across a suspicious object on the Ligoniel Road. The prosecutor said it was the Crown's case that Connor could be linked to the incident in a number of ways.

Mr Steer said that on May 28 of the same year, a pipe bomb was thrown at police officers in the Ballysillan area of Belfast. Mr Steer said that it was again the Crown's case that Connor was linked to the murder bid.

Defence barrister Martin O'Rourke QC, for Connor, said that the trial of both Connor and her co-accused is not expected to start until September, and spoke of the "potential of further delay".

Mr O'Rourke suggested that the imposition of an 8pm to 7am curfew as part of bail conditions, as well as the fact that where she lives is "covered in CCTV", should be enough to allay concerns.

Judge Kerr said he would be prepared to grant bail if she agreed to be tagged. He invited Connor's legal team to make another application for bail, should circumstances change.

Belfast Telegraph

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