Published Saturday, 15 October 2011
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Appearing in the dock of Ballymena Magistrates' Court, 30-year-old John Smyth Jr was charged with making an explosive device with intent to endanger life and under suspicious circumstances on 12 October.
Smyth, with an address at Birchhall Park in Antrim, was arrested by police investigating a racist attack on a Polish family in the town when a pipe bomb was left on the windowsill of their Seacash Drive home .
A loyalist terror group, calling itself the 'Real UFF', admitted responsibility after the attack.
On Saturday, Detective Constable Maguire told the court he believed he could connect Smyth to the charges.
When questioned by Smyth's solicitor, the officer confirmed that while he was not charged in connection to that racist attack, bomb components allegedly uncovered at his home were "similar" to those of the device used in the attack.
The solicitor put to the officer that for the last five weeks, Smyth had been living with his parents under their "constant supervision" having attempted to take his own life but DC Maguire agreed that while he had been living with them "constant supervision is not the case".
The officer told the court that if released on bail, police feared Smyth would interfere with witnesses in the case, interfere with the gathering of evidence and also that they held information which suggested that "harm may come to him".
DC Maguire added that there had been "over 20" recent racist attacks in the town and that Smyth is "affiliated with persons who claim to be from the UFF".
However after an objection from Smyth's solicitor, District Judge Danny Magill said there was no evidence before him of any terrorist connection.
Refusing a bail application and remanding Smyth to appear in court next month via video-link, Judge Magill said he was taking into consideration police fears about the interference with witnesses and evidence.
Smyth, who unsuccessfully stood for election to Antrim Borough Council in May, was suspended from the DUP on Friday.
"Following the arrest of Mr John Smyth Jr, his membership of the Democratic Unionist Party has been suspended pending the outcome of a police investigation and to allow for due process to take its course," a party spokesman said.