Bail scandal: we must review rules says David Black’s son

Shoulder to shoulder, Kyle Black and his grandfather Edmund as they carry the coffin of David Black
Shoulder to shoulder, Kyle Black and his grandfather Edmund as they carry the coffin of David Black

The son of murdered prison officer David Black has said Northern Ireland’s approach to bail for terror suspects “needs looked at pretty urgently”.

Looking beyond the immediate priority of making sure Damien McLaughlin is found, Kyle Black said he hopes for a review to be conducted into the subject.

See here for details of McLaughlin’s disappearance.
He said McLaughlin’s disappearance “raises questions at the higher level of the judicial system [about] the actual bail conditions that are imposed on individuals that are accused of terrorist-related offences, and how trivial the bail conditions are”.

The 25-year-old finance worker from Cookstown, added: “I’d agree that the conditions are much more lenient here than they are anywhere else in the UK.

“I feel that why should Northern Ireland not be in line with the rest of the UK whenever it comes to the setting of bail conditions with terror-related cases?”

McLaughlin was released on bail in May 2014.

Mr Justice Weatherup said at the time that an electronic tag was necessary to monitor him.

Belfast Crown Court heard last Friday this was later removed by a court, and the number of days he had to sign bail was cut from seven days per week to five.

Adrian Smith, area chairman of the Prison Officers’ Association, said he wants justice to see brought to bear upon “whoever murdered David Black,” stressing that McLaughlin remains innocent of the charges which he is facing unless a court proves otherwise.