Republican cell damage trial date set
THE trial of a Dungannon man accused of being involved in causing damage to cells at Maghaberry Prison, is due to start within weeks.
Damien Joseph McLaughlin, from Lake View Cottages, is one of 11 republicans including prominent Lurgan dissident Colin Duffy, who are charged in connection with an alleged incident inside the prison in May of last year.
The 11 before the court - who also include John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville, who were convicted earlier this year of murdering PSNI constable Stephen Carroll - are accused of wrecking their cells.
The remaining defendants are Kevin Barry Nolan from Main Street Blacklion; Gerard James McManus from Fernhill, Letterkenny; Mark McGuigan, Sperrin View, Omagh; Sean McConville, Kilwilke Road, Lurgan; Brendan Conway from Rosemount Gardens, Belfast; Joseph Patrick Barr, Bridge Street Strabane; and Harry Fitzsimmons whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry.
Although prosecutors were expected to open the case at Belfast Magistrate’s Court on Monday last, the matter was unable to progress because one of their witnesses was not available.
Defence lawyers also protested they had not been able to watch video footage from inside the prison from the night in question.
Some of the lawyers said that the DVDs with footage had not worked on their computers.
The accused were not present in court yesterday as prosecution lawyer Michael Chambers revealed his witness was now available and 100 new copies of the eight-hour long CCTV pictures had been made.
District Judge Des Perry set the new date for the case as Monday, September 3.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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