Belfast Telegraph

Man accused of terror plot against retired Armagh officer is refused bail

By Alan Erwin

A man accused of being part of a terror plot targeting a retired police officer must remain in custody, a High Court judge has ruled.

Shea Reynolds was refused bail on a charge connected to the discovery of an improvised explosive device in Lurgan, Co Armagh a year ago.

Lawyers for the 23-year-old, of Kilwilke Road in the town, argued that he should be released due to delays in the case.

Reynolds was one of four men arrested during a police operation in September 2016.

He faces a charge of preparing a terrorist act, namely targeting a former member of the security forces.

At previous hearings it was claimed that a camera had been used to film the retired officer's home.

Prosecutors linked the alleged conspiracy to a dissident grouping styling itself the New IRA.

So far none of the accused have been released on full bail.

Mounting a fresh application for Reynolds, defence counsel Dessie Hutton argued that he has now spent just over 12 months in custody.

He described his client as a man with no criminal record, and a well-paid marketing consultancy job.

Mr Hutton predicted that committal proceedings listed for this Friday will not go ahead.

Three thousand pages of documents just served on defence lawyers have to be examined, he stressed.

The barrister also said that a second box containing audio and visual exhibits in the case has still to be handed over.

"The Crown are taking this novel approach that the defence can address the committal without the defence knowing what the evidence is against him," he claimed.

Ruling on the application, Mrs Justice Keegan recognised the issues of delay and adequacy of papers served.

Pointing to this week's scheduled Preliminary Enquiry (PE) hearing, she said: "I'm not prepared to grant bail in the meantime.

"However, it does seem to me that there are valid arguments about the PE papers which can be raised with the district judge."

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