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Housing Executive worker in court over witness ID charge

Court

Court

A Co Antrim woman has been granted bail after appearing in court charged with attempting to identify people in a police witness protection scheme.

Charlene Pierce, 32, from Newtownabbey, is alleged to have committed the offence last month while working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

She stood in the dock at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Thursday facing counts of collecting information likely to be useful to terrorists and misconduct in public office.

Dressed in a navy blue t-shirt, blonde-haired Pierce spoke only to confirm she understood the charges during the brief hearing.

The alleged offences took place between June 25 and 28.

A detective sergeant told district judge Fiona Bagnall that he could connect the accused, from Harmin Park in Newtownabbey, with the charges.

He said he would not object to bail if certain restrictions were imposed.

Judge Bagnall granted bail on the condition that Pierce resides at home, does not attempt to leave Northern Ireland without first informing police, does not apply for a British or Irish passport and does not attempt to contact a number of individuals, and their families, listed by the prosecution.

Pierce, who was arrested on Monday, was required to provide £500 bail, with an additional £500 cash surety provided to the court by her sister.

The accused is due back in court on September 25.

A 28-year-old woman detained on Monday as part of the same investigation was released on Tuesday pending further inquiries.

 

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