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PSNI car bomb accused refused compassionate release for funeral

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Police at the scene of the bomb bid in Eglinton in 2015

Police at the scene of the bomb bid in Eglinton in 2015

Police at the scene of the bomb bid in Eglinton in 2015

A man accused of trying to kill a PSNI officer with an under-car bomb cannot go to Dublin for his grandfather's funeral, a court has ruled.

Sean Paul Farrell was refused compassionate bail after it emerged that a previous 35,000 euro surety was forfeited after he went missing during extradition proceedings.

A detective claimed: "We believe any sum of money wouldn't stop him from fleeing."

Farrell, 35, is charged with attempting to murder the off-duty policeman in Eglinton, Co Londonderry on June 18, 2015.

The defendant, of Stannaway Road in Dublin, faces a further count of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life.

He was allegedly involved in planting an improvised explosive device (IED) under the officer's car.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard he was among three men in a vehicle stopped by gardai across the border in Co Donegal later that morning.

In March this year the High Court in Dublin ordered Farrell's extradition to Northern Ireland.

According to police he disappeared and went "off the radar" at the end of those proceedings.

Last month Farrell was detained under a warrant in the Glasgow area and brought back to Northern Ireland, where he remains in custody.

He applied for temporary release to attend his grandfather's funeral in Dublin on Wednesday.

Defence solicitor Gavin Booth said the two men had shared a special relationship, and confirmed that £5,000 could be put up to ensure his client's return.

But a detective claimed Farrell had used IRA connections to flee to Scotland previously.

"We believe such an organisation has the means to move people around without detection," he contended.

District Judge Nigel Broderick was told 35,000 euros had been lodged to get Farrell out on bail during the extradition process, including 25,000 euros from his mother.

"I have been informed this morning... that sum has been forfeited in the Republic of Ireland," the detective disclosed.

Garda also expressed opposition to Farrell crossing the border in a "strongly worded" email, the court heard.

"The (extradition) process to date has already drained considerable resources, hundreds of thousands of euros, in the south," the detective said.

Disputing the strength of evidence linking Farrell to the charges, Mr Booth insisted the accused is still presumed innocent.

Bail was denied, however, due to concerns he may not return for trial.

Mr Broderick held: "The risks of flight are greater than the identified right of the defendant to attend his grandfather's funeral."

Belfast Telegraph