'I'm lucky to be alive' says officer who survived Christine Connor bomb attack

Christine Connor

Christine Connor

A police officer who was targeted by lone-wolf terrorist Christine Connor has said he feels lucky to be alive.

The father-of-two, whose son was just three months old at the time Connor threw a blast bomb at him as he responded to a fake 999 call, said he will never forget the night of the attack.

He and another officer from the Police Service of Northern Ireland were responding to an emergency call from a woman who claimed she was being attacked by her boyfriend in May 2013.

However, Connor had made the fake call in a bid to lure officers to the scene in North Belfast, where she was lying in wait with two blast bombs.

"My colleague and I had knocked at the door of the house where we believed a woman was being assaulted. I became suspicious when there was no response at the door and there were no lights on in the house," said the officer.

"A recent, previous attack on police was also in the back of my mind and I turned away from the property to make further investigations. That was when I heard a noise behind me - which was the device landing at my heel."

The officer said that adrenaline kicked in and he started to run away, but tripped and fell just as the first device exploded.

"I saw someone coming towards me and a second device hitting the ground near me. I got up and ran into an alleyway just as this device exploded. I remember the noise was deafening and there was a lot of smoke," he said.

"At this stage, my training kicked in and I drew my weapon to protect myself and the public, who were now coming out of their houses to see what was happening. My colleague and I advised them to go back inside for their own safety.

"I feel very lucky to be alive and I have no doubt that if I wasn't able to run away from the devices being thrown, I would not be here today. I am very fortunate that me and my colleague did not suffer serious injuries.

"I will never forget that night, but it has made me more determined to do my job as a police officers and protect the public."

Earlier, Belfast Crown Court heard that the officer suffers from post-traumatic stress following the attack.