PPS says it may appeal bombers’ sentences

Brian Walsh (above) and Darren Poleon (below)
both convicted of explosives and terror offences after bomb found at Waterfoot Hotel, Londonderry.
Brian Walsh (above) and Darren Poleon (below) both convicted of explosives and terror offences after bomb found at Waterfoot Hotel, Londonderry.

The five-year jail terms handed out to two republican terrorists who tried to bomb a police recruitment event show could be referred to the Court of Appeal, the Public Prosecution Service has said.

Brian Walsh and Darren Poleon, both from Co Meath, were sentenced on at Belfast Crown Court on Thursday after the pair admitted planting a remote-controlled bomb at the Waterfoot Hotel in Londonderry in October 2015.

Poleon, 43 and from Lightown in Drumbaragh, Kells, and 35-year old Walsh from Drumree in Dunshaughlin, were told they will each serve five years in jail and five on licence.

A PPS spokesperson told the News Letter yesterday it is considering if there is a basis to refer the sentences to the Court of Appeal “on the grounds that they may be unduly lenient”.

TUV leader and barrister Jim Allister branded the sentences “ridiculously lenient”, adding that the ruling “sends a message that Northern Ireland is a soft touch when it comes to terrorism”.

DUP East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said such lenient sentencing would have been “highly unlikely” in any court in the rest of the UK.