Judge upholds illegal parade convictions of 10 republicans
Ten men convicted in April of taking part in an illegal Easter Monday republican parade lost appeals at Londonderry County Court yesterday.
All 10 were appealing against both the convictions and against the fines of £750 imposed on each of them.
Judge Philip Babington said while he was upholding the convictions against the 10, he was reducing the fine of £750 imposed on each of them to £500.
All 10 have been given six months to pay.
The appellants had been convicted at Derry Magistrates Court in April of taking part in an unnotified republican parade in the Creggan area of the city on Easter Monday (April 2) last year.
At yesterday's appeal hearing two police officers told Judge Babington that between them they recognised each of the 10 appellants and gave details of the clothing worn by them during the illegal parade.
The officers said they recognised the appellants, some of whom were in a colour party, from CCTV footage recorded by the police.
They also said they both had personal experience of dealing with the 10 in the past.
A barrister for the Public Prosecution Service told Judge Babington that several days before the illegal parade police officers called to the office of Junior McDaid House in Chamberlain Street.
No one was in the office and a police inspector left a letter which stated that the parade had not been notified to the Parades Commission in accordance with the relevant legislation.
The prosecutor said the same officer went to the Creggan area on the day of the parade and used a loudspeaker to inform participants the parade was illegal and they were subject to prosecution.
Defence barrister Eoghan Devlin said he was not disputing the police evidence, but he said the fine of £750 imposed on each of the appellants was "a heavy price for someone to pay if they had carried out the proper administration before the parade".
Judge Babington said by appealing both the convictions and fines, the appellants had made the prosecution prove the case.
"They have been convicted of taking part in an illegal procession. I am satisfied they did that," he said.
The 10 appellants were Thomas Ashe Mellon (43), from Rathmore Road; Gary Hayden (47), from Tyrconnell Street; William McDonnell (33), from Harvey Street; Paul McIntyre (52), from Ballymagowan Park; Joseph Barr (31), from Sackville Court; Patrick Mellon (27), from John Field Place; John Patrick Nash, (66), from Fergleen Park; Geroid Cavanagh (31), from Northland Road; Jason Ceulemans, from Long Tower Court and Christopher O'Kane (46), from Iniscairn Road.