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Video: Belfast woman Christine Connor a 'lone-wolf dissident' who attempted murder of a police officers


Belfast woman Christine Connor posed as the model fiancee of a Swedish ice hockey star to entrap a man into taking part in her bid to murder police officers.

The man she lured into her criminal web using a fake online profile, Stuart Downes from Shrewsbury, later took his own life.

Police branded Connor "deceitful and extremely dangerous" after she pleaded guilty to a series of terror offences on Wednesday, including a count of attempted murder linked to a bomb attack on police in Belfast.

She was not aligned to any known dissident republican grouping, instead calling her own one-member organisation United Struggle.

Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes, of the PSNI's Serious Crime Branch, said Connor used a "web of deceit" to enlist Downes.

"Christine Connor's deceitfulness knew no bounds and involved using a fictitious name and a profile picture that bore no resemblance to her when communicating online with Stuart Downes to plan this sickening attack on officers who were simply carrying out their core job of protecting their community.

"She had two attempts at murdering police officers on two separate dates and both involved her making hoax 999 calls to lure them to where she was hiding."

The detective said the second attack resulted in shrapnel flying 35 metres and lodging in nearby homes.

Mr Geddes said a claim of responsibility phoned in from a public call box in the Shrewsbury area formed a major part of the investigation.

"This resulted in the identification of Stuart Downes as a suspect," he explained.

He added: "Today's outcome is the result of excellent joint working between the PSNI and West Mercia Police alongside the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit.

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