Belfast Telegraph

Belfast woman (62) denies having documents linked to terrorism

Charges: Fionnghuale Perry
Charges: Fionnghuale Perry

By Ashleigh McDonald

A 62-year-old woman from west Belfast appeared in court yesterday where she denied two terrorist offences.

Fionnghuale Mary Teresa Dympna Perry was charged with collecting or making a record of information likely to be of use to terrorists between September 16, 2015, and February 21, 2018 - namely a security debrief regarding the police recovery of firearms, ammunition and explosives.

Perry, from Waterville Street, was also charged with possessing documents or records likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, namely a security debrief regarding the police recovery of firearms on February 20, 2018.

When both charges were put to Perry at Belfast Crown Court she replied "not guilty".

Perry's barrister Dessie Hutton told Judge Stephen Fowler that the charges arose from a search of her home last February.

He also told the judge that while the issue of possessing the notes and information "will not be disputed", the "matter of issue" is that these were part of a large amount of documentation seized during the search in early 2018.

Mr Hutton added: "I have been instructed that the documentation provides context that would be of use to the defendant in terms of reasonable excuse."

The barrister said the defence needed to take stock of whether or not the "full inventory" of the items seized from Perry's home have now been returned.

He also asked for a trial date not to be fixed in court yesterday.

Judge Fowler agreed to review the case again in the new year.

Asking that the current bail conditions of both tagging and reporting to police be removed, Mr Hutton said that following a search of Perry's home last February there was "no movement in the case, from the defendant's perspective" until her arrest in January of this year.

Pointing out that Perry was not under any bail conditions in this year-long period, Mr Hutton issued an assurance that even if these two conditions were removed, Perry will still attend court for her trial.

Mr Hutton spoke of health issues, and produced a letter from Perry's GP which confirmed she has issues with mobility and balance.

The prosecutor suggested altering but not completely removing the two conditions.

Judge Fowler said: "I am satisfied she will turn up for her trial.

"I will remove the tag and I will remove the reporting restriction.

"This is on the basis of a serious medical condition."

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