PSNI should have kept a close eye on bail adherence

Damien McLaughlin
Damien McLaughlin
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The rule of law in Northern Ireland has now reached an all-time low, suspects for serious crime treat it with absolute disdain.

DUP representative Keith Buchanan, in relation to the flight of Damien McLaughlin, stated following a meeting with the chief constable, “Whilst we recognise the difficulties faced by police…” 

I am unsighted as to what these difficulties could be.

The PSNI recognised from an early stage that McLaughlin presented a risk to society and of flight, and they opposed bail from an early stage following his arrest.

The lessening of the restrictions should have resulted in the PSNI rigorously enforcing what restrictions remained due to the risks identified; they did not.

McLaughlin’s extended period of non-signing began in the middle of November. They allowed a further five weeks of complete absence of signing before they checked the bail address.

Despite evidence of flight, they did not report this to the PPS for a further two weeks.

I believe that the decision not to report the matter to the PPS at an early stage would not have been made by a junior officer, this would have been made at the PSNI’s ‘top table’. 

To compound the absurdity of the situation, a 75 year old retired soldier of poor health has had a request to have his bail restrictions lifted so that he may go on holiday, challenged by the PPS as they believe he may flee the jurisdiction.

In Oliver Twist, Mr Bumble stated, “If the law supposes that, then the law is an ass,”

Ken Funston, Lisnaskea