CONVICTED IRA Old Bailey bomber Marian Price walked free from court today with a suspended sentence for aiding dissident republican terrorists.
Price – also known as Marian McGlinchey – pleaded guilty last November to providing a mobile phone used to claim responsibility for the Real IRA murders of two soldiers outside Massereene barracks in March 2009.
At Belfast Crown Court on Tuesday, Price was sentenced to a year, suspended for three years.
Judge Gordon Kerr QC said the risk of Price re-offending was low.
He also said that although she had a significant conviction for terrorism – the Old Bailey bombings in 1973 – Price’s health was now “poor and deteriorating” and if she returned to prison she faced a significant risk of severe depression.
Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar were shot dead as they collected a pizza delivery at the front of Massereene barracks in County Antrim., 59, of Stockman’s Avenue in west Belfast, pleaded guilty to buying a mobile phone that was used in several calls claiming responsibility for the Real IRA attack.
She was captured on CCTV buying the phone at the Abbeycentre in Newtownabbey weeks before the murders.
She also admitted aiding and abetting the addressing of a meeting to encourage support for terrorism.
The second charge related to a separate incident at a dissident republican rally in Derry in April 2011.
At the Easter commemoration rally in the City Cemetery, she was filmed holding a piece of paper for a masked man as he made a speech, during which he issued threats against Catholic police officers.
She was sentenced to a nine-month term for that offence, to run concurrently with the one-year term and suspended for three years.
Two republicans – Colin Duffy and Brian Chivers – were found not guilty of the murders. Chivers was acquitted after two trials.
In a statement today, the PSNIsaid: “Despite today’s sentencing, and previous acquittals (over the Massereene attack), the investigation by the Serious Crime Branch remains open.
“Police would appeal to anyone with any information about those involved in these murders to contact them.
“The tragic outcome of those events in March 2009 is that the Azimkar and Quinsey families are facing another year without their brothers and son. Anyone who knows anything about the murders or can assist in any way with the investigation should do the right thing and talk to police on 0845 600 8000.”
Price was convicted along with her sister, Dolours Price, for their part in an IRA car bomb attack on London’s Old Bailey courts over 40 years ago.
One man died of heart attack and more than 200 people were injured in the 1973 bombing.
Price was released early from prison on licence, but her licence was revoked in May 2011.
She was returned to jail on the direction of the then Secretary of State Owen Paterson, weeks after the dissident republican rally in Derry.