Sentencing of man who made devices left ‘to intimidate Catholics’ lenient but not wrong, court rules


A non-custodial sentence imposed on a man for making devices planted at a Catholic primary school, community hall and GAA ground was lenient but not wrong in law, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

Senior judges said in some cases rehabilitation rather than imprisonment can be the most effective form of deterrence.

The Director of Public Prosecutions had sought an increase on the two-year probation order and 100 hours’ community service imposed on Ryan McDowell, 21, from Laurel Park, Ahoghill. According to Barra McGrory, the crude, fireworks-based devices were strategically left at premises in order to intimidate Catholics in the north Antrim area.

But the Court of Appeal dismissed his application.