SUSPECT ACCUSED OF BUYING CAR FOR PRISON OFFICER DAVID BLACK MURDER

Murdered prison officer David Black

Murdered prison officer David Black

A MAN has faced a court in Northern Ireland accused of providing the car used in the murder of prison officer David Black last month.

Damien Joseph McLaughlin, from Kilmascally Road, Dungannon, Co Tyrone was remanded inc custody when he appeared at Lisburn Magistrates Court on Thursday.

The 36-year-old is accused of obtaining a car in the Republic of Ireland which police believe is linked to Mr Black’s murder.

A 1994 Dublin registered Toyota Camry car was found burned out in Lurgan a short time after the murder on November 1.

At the hearing in Lisburn a defence lawyer said there was insufficient evidence to connect Mr McLaughlin to the charge. However, this was dismissed by the district judge.

McLaughlin was remanded in custody until 4 January.

Mr Black, 52, was shot on the M1 as he drove to work in November.

A police officer told the court that police in the Republic have CCTV footage which linked the accused to the car’s movements from the Republic into Northern Ireland.

He admitted, however, that police in Northern Ireland have not yet obtained it from the Garda Síochana but will in due course.

Meanwhile, a 44-year-old Dublin man appeared before the three judge non-jury Special Criminal Court in the city charged in connection with the murder of Mr Black.

Vincent Banks from Smithfield Gate in central Dublin was charged with withholding information about the murder, and membership of an illegal organisation.

Mr Banks did not speak during his 19 minute appearance, but the court heard that when charged he replied: “I don’t believe so.”

He was remanded in custody until Friday morning, but Irish police indicated they would have no objection in principle to bail at a later date.

A 31-year-old woman who was arrested with him on Tuesday night was released without charge.

Mr Black was the first prison officer to be murdered in Northern Ireland in 20 years.

The father-of-two had been driving to his work at Maghaberry Prison, Northern Ireland’s high security jail, when he was attacked by members of a new dissident republican group calling itself the IRA.

 

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