Man to be tried over bomb hoaxes

Published Friday, 08 August 2014
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A Craigavon man has been sent to the Crown Court to be tried for causing multiple bomb hoaxes in his hometown, including at a police station and a youth club.

Man to be tried over bomb hoaxes
Lavery will appear for arraignment next month (© Pacemaker)

Kieran Lavery told Craigavon Magistrates' Court on Friday he was aware of the 18 charges he faced and that he was no objecting to the Preliminary Enquiry being held.

Lavery, from Meadowbrook, Tullygally in Craigavon, faces a total of 16 offences of communicating false information to 999 operators "to induce the belief that a bomb or some other thing would explode or ignite" and two further charges of placing articles, both on the Tullygally Road East, "with the intention of inducing in some other person a belief that it was likely to explode or ignite and thereby cause personal injury or damage to property".

All of the offences are alleged to have occurred on various dates between 19 May last year and 31 January this year at different locations such as close to Lavery's home on the Tullygally Road East, Brownlow Leisure Centre, Brownlow College, Drumgor Youth Club and Craigavon PSNI Station.

Although no facts of the case were opened on Friday it is understood that the hoax alerts caused widespread disruption including roads being closed and peoples' homes having to be evacuated as police officers investigated the 999 warnings in operations which cost thousands of pounds as police officers, the PSNI helicopter and the army bomb squad were deployed.

A prosecuting lawyer submitted that on the papers, there was a prima facie case for Lavery to answer and as defence solicitor Connor Downey had no contrary submissions, District Judge Mervyn Bates said he was satisfied there was enough evidence to commit the alleged hoax bomber to the Crown Court for trial.

Lavery was told he had the right to give evidence himself or to call evidence on his behalf but declined to do so and was remanded back into custody to appear again on 11 September for arraignment.

Although a charge of wasting police time was withdrawn, Judge Bates warned Lavery that was only because it was not legally allowed to go before the Crown Court so he will be recharged with that offence "to be dealt with by the Petty Sessions".

© UTV News
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