| 8.7°C Belfast

Old Bailey bomber Marian Price's phone used to claim Massereene killings, court told

Former Old Bailey bomber Marian Price has gone on trial in Belfast on a charge linked to the dissident terrorist attack on Massereene Army barracks which claimed the lives of two soldiers.

The Crown Court heard the 59-year-old has links to "dissident republican activity" and denies providing property for the purposes of terrorism – namely purchasing a mobile telephone which was subsequently used in a number of calls claiming responsibility for the Real IRA gun attack.

Two soldiers – Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar – were gunned down as they collected a pizza delivery at the front of the Co Antrim barracks on March 7, 2009. The pizza delivery man was also wounded in the attack.

Two men accused of the murders were subsequently tried and acquitted.

Prosecutor Tessa Kitson told the court that the day after the fatal attack, an unknown male made a number of telephone calls to media outlets, including UTV and the Samaritans, claiming responsibility for the attack on behalf of the Real IRA. Ms Kitson said that on March 8, 2009 a woman was caught on CCTV purchasing the pay-as-you-go mobile from the Tesco store in Newtownabbey, adding it was the Crown's case that the woman seen purchasing the phone was Price.

The court heard that the phone was first used to claim responsibility one hour and five minutes after it was bought. The prosecution claimed it had been purchased "solely" for this purpose.

Price, from Stockman's Avenue in Belfast, was questioned about the purchase of the mobile phone in November of that year. Ms Kitson told Judge Gordon Kerr QC that given McGlinchey's "background and involvement in dissident republican activity", it was unlikely she was unaware that the phone would be used to "promote the objectives and aims of a terrorist organisation, in that it would be used to claim responsibility for a terrorist attack".

The prosecutor said that despite various police interviews, McGlinchey has never given any reason for the purchase of the phone.

The case continues.

Belfast Telegraph