Woman admits dissident camp charges

Published Wednesday, 11 June 2014
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A mother-of-three from Pomeroy has admitted three charges linked to a dissident training camp set up in a Co Tyrone forest.

Woman admits dissident camp charges
Rafferty admitted three charges relating to the dissident camp in Co Tyrone. (© UTV)

Sharon Rafferty is the last of four defendants to plead to offences arising from the discovery of a firing range at Formil Wood between Greencastle and Broughderg in March 2012.

The prosecution believe the training camp was in an advanced state of preparation for an attack by dissident republicans.

Rafferty, from Cabhan Aluinn in Pomeroy, initially denied a string of charges levelled against her.

However, after she was produced in the dock of Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday, her defence barrister asked that she be re-arraigned on two of the charges she faced.

The 38-year old admitted possessing a .22 Walther rifle and ammunition in suspiciouscircumstances on 30 March 2012, and also attending a place used for terrorist training, namely Formil Wood, on the same date.

She also entered a guilty plea when charged with preparing or helping others in the preparation of an improvised firing range.

After the guilty pleas were entered, a prosecutor said the Crown was accepting the plea.

He also asked that two other charges Rafferty faced - including belonging to a proscribed organisation, namely the Irish Republican Army - be left on the books.

She was the last of four people charged in connection with the training camp to admit her guilt.

Rafferty and three co-accused, Co Tyrone brothers 38-year-old Gavin and 35-year-old Aiden Coney from Carrickmore and 48-year-old Toomebridge man Sean Kelly, were all due to stand trial before a non-jury court this month.

All four initially denied the charges and the Diplock trial was due to commence at Belfast Crown Court.

However Kelly pleaded guilty to several charges last week, while the Coney brothers admitted various charges on Tuesday.

As all four have now pleaded guilty, they are due to be sentenced on charges arising from the training camp on 1 July.

© UTV News
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