WOMAN REMANDED OVER NORTH BELFAST MURDER BID ON PSNI OFFICERS

Woman remanded over north Belfast murder bid on PSNI officers

Woman remanded over north Belfast murder bid on PSNI officers

A WOMAN faced Belfast Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with trying to murder of two PSNI officers.

The charges relate to an incident in north Belfast last week when two officers escaped injury after a pipe bomb was thrown at them as they got out of their armoured vehicle in the Ballysillan area.

Christine Connor, from north Belfast, is also charged with possession of pipe bombs and preparing acts of terrorism.

Wearing a denim jacket as she entered the dock, the 27-year-old waved to her mother Briege and a man sitting together in the public gallery.

She did not respond or acknowledge the court when asked if she understood the charges against her.

Defence solicitor Michael Madden claimed the police case contains “significant evidential difficulties”.

However, the lawyer confirmed he was not in a position to seek bail at this stage.

Seeking the ban on publication of his client’s address, Mr Madden cited her mother’s right to life under European law.

He said the family was notified by police in 2007 that paramilitaries had details of cars and their house.

Windows were smashed and vehicles attacked at the time, the court heard.

Mr Madden said the threats stopped once Connor and her mother moved house.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted the application on the basis of the perceived risks to the family.

She said: “In the circumstances I don’t think it’s a big leap to say disclosure through these proceedings may lead to danger, particular to the mother.”

Judge Bagnall added that Connor could be named and described as being from north Belfast.

The accused was remanded in custody to appear again next month.

The police officers targeted in the north Belfast attack had been responding to a 999 call and were attacked as they got out of their vehicle.

A 25-year-old man, who was arrested in Shrewsbury on Saturday morning and who was taken back to Northern Ireland, remains in custody.

Christine Connor’s mum Briege, who was present for today’s hearing was also arrested in connection with the attack.

The 62-year-old was later released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.

 

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