Adrian Ismay murder accused rearrested for second time in 48 hours

Adrian Ismay died 11 days after he was injured in a car bomb attack
Adrian Ismay died 11 days after he was injured in a car bomb attack

A man bailed on a charge of murdering a prison officer in Belfast has been arrested for a second time in 48 hours, it has emerged.

Christopher Robinson was returned to custody again amid claims that he tampered with an electronic tag fitted as part of his release conditions.

The 45-year-old has also been charged with a new offence of criminal damage to the device.

But he was readmitted to bail once more after his lawyers argued that a fall outside his home caused the tag to come loose.

Robinson, of Aspen Park in Dunmurry, is accused of murdering 52-year-old Adrian Ismay in March.

The prison officer suffered serious leg injuries when the booby-trap device exploded under the van while he was driving in east Belfast.

He had been recovering, but died after being returned to hospital 11 days later.

Robinson faces a further charge of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life.

He is allegedly linked to the bombing by CCTV footage of a car believed to have been used to plant the device at the victim’s Hillsborough Drive home early on March 4.

Forensic examination of the car was said to reveal traces of RDX, an identifier in high explosive material, on its rear floor and seats.

At the High Court on Wednesday prosecutors said Robinson knew the victim through working together as volunteers with St John Ambulance.

The accused was granted bail at that stage on strict conditions, including a night-time curfew and electronic monitoring.

But he was returned to custody the next day for failing to respond to a check at his home in the early hours of the morning.

It was not suggested that he was away from the address at the time.

On Thursday Robinson was rebailed with a warning that he must answer the door when police call.

However, officers detained him again early on Friday after a security firm reported an issue with the tag.

Robinson was brought back before Belfast Magistrates’ Court where a district judge rejected attempts to revoke bail.

Defence solicitor Padraig O Muirigh said later: “In the last 48 hours the police have arrested my client on two occasions and have been unsuccessful on both occasions in having him returned to prison.

“My client is concerned this is the start of a campaign of harassment against him.”