Belfast Telegraph

Adrian Ismay murder trial told accused's brother 'turned off security cameras'

Adrian Ismay
Adrian Ismay

By Ashleigh McDonald

The brother of a man on trial for murdering a prison officer turned off security cameras at a west Belfast hostel the evening before the device exploded, a court has heard.

As the trial into the March 2016 murder of Adrian Ismay resumed at Belfast Crown Court following an eight-month adjournment, several witnesses were called to give evidence.

Christopher Alphonson Robinson (48) from Aspen Park in Poleglass has been charged with murdering Mr Ismay, possessing a bomb and providing money or property for the purposes of terrorism.

The charges relate to the death of 52-year-old father-of-three Mr Ismay, who died 11 days after a bomb detonated under his blue Volkswagen van on March 4, 2016. Robinson has denied all the charges, and as the trial resumed, a support worker employed at the same west Belfast hostel as Robinson’s brother was called to give evidence.

The support worker confirmed that on the evening of March 3, 2016 he and Peter Robinson were working.

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Christopher Robinson outside court

He said that during their shift, his colleague disabled the CCTV in the main office and said his brother was calling down. When he was asked to expand on this, the support worker said: “Whatever he did, the monitor went blank. At the same time, he said to me, ‘Our Christy is calling to the hostel’.” The witness then said: “I walked out, I thought something was wrong”.

When he was asked if he had ever turned the CCTV off, he replied “no”, and when asked if people were permitted to disable the system, he said: “There’s never been the cause to.”

When the support worker was asked if he saw his colleague’s brother Christie at the hostel on the evening in question, he said “no.” The prosecution has already made the case that a red Citroen C3 containing the bomb was driven by Christopher Robinson to Mr Ismay’s Hillsborough Drive home. The device exploded close to the Cregagh Road around 7am on March 4, 2016.

Passers-by came to Mr Ismay’s aid, but he passed away from his injuries 11 days later.

It is also the Crown’s case that the Citroen C3 belonged to Robinson’s sister in law, and was captured on several CCTV cameras being driven from the west to the east of the city in the early hours of March 4, 2016.

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