Belfast Telegraph

Derry man Bradley walks free over Syria terror charges

By George Jackson

A 29-year-old man from Derry, who twice stood trial charged with terrorist offences in Syria, walked free from Derry Crown Court on Monday just over three years after he was arrested in his home after returning from the Middle East.

Eamon Bradley, from Melmore Gardens, in the Creggan area of Derry, spent four months in custody after he was arrested on November 7, 2014 following his return from Syria.

On Monday he was formally found not guilty of three Syrian terrorist related offences.

In January of this year, in the first international terrorist trial of its kind in Northern Ireland, a jury at the city's Crown Court found him not guilty of three charges of possessing grenades with intent to endanger life in Syria between March and October, 2014.

However the jurors were unable to reach verdicts on three other charges which alleged that he had attended terrorist training camps in Syria where he received instructions in the use of grenades and of heavy duty machine guns, also between March and October 2014.

The Public Prosecution Service decided to have a re-trial on the three charges the jury could not reach verdicts on. That re-trial took place over eleven days in Omagh in September and for the second time the jury failed to reach verdicts on any of the three charges.

Mr Bradley's defence team then applied to have him formally found not guilty by a third jury of the three outstanding charges.

In the Bishop Street Crown Court a jury of six men and six women was sworn in before Judge Philip Babington.

As Mr Bradley stood in the dock between two prison officers Judge Babington told the jurors that although they had been called into court for a trial, that trial would not be necessary.

A senior prosecutor from the PPS then told Judge Babington: "I am instructed to offer no evidence in this case".

The court clerk then read the three charges out to Mr. Bradley - that he had attended a terrorist training camp in Syria for the purpose or commission of acts of terrorism, that he had received instructions in making and using a grenade and that he had received instructions in making and using heavy duty machine guns.

Mr Bradley replied not guilty to each of the three charges.

Judge Babington told the jurors that Mr. Bradley "is entitled to a verdict of not guilty to each charge and I am directing you to bring in such verdicts on each of the three charges".

Judge Babington told the jurors that two juries had been unable to agree any verdicts in the three outstanding charges and as a result of that the PPS had quite correctly decided not to put him on trial again.

Bradley was then released from the dock and told waiting reporters that he did not wish to make any comment.

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