Newtownabbey woman to stand trial on terror-link charges

Court

Court

A Newtownabbey woman is to stand trial later this year on charges linked to collecting information for terrorists whilst working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, a court heard on Wednesday.

Charlene Pierce, from Harmin Park, appeared at Belfast Crown Court where she denied two charges levelled against her.

The 34-year-old has been charged with collecting or making a record of information likely to be of use to terrorists, namely information relating to the identity and addresses of three people on the PSNI’s Witness Protection Scheme, on dates between June 25 and 28, 2014.

The Co Antrim woman was also charged with misconduct in a public office on the same dates.

The charge accuses Pierce of being a public officer - namely a Housing Executive Claims Builder - and using that position to unlawfully obtain information relating to the identity and addresses of the three people under the Witness Protection Scheme.

When the two charges were put to Pierce on Wednesday, she replied “not guilty” to both.

The trial, which is due to last seven days, is expected to start on May 4.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC released Pierce on continuing bail and ordered her to appear before the same court for her trial.