Belfast teenager bought phone linked to Ardoyne bomb

editorial image

A Belfast man who admitted purchasing a mobile phone and top-up vouchers which were linked to the discovery of a bomb in Ardoyne is to be sentenced for the offences next week.

Conal Corbett, from Oisin House in the Victoria Parade area of the city, admitted four offences that fall under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The 19-year-old was arrested at his then Flax Street flat in May 2015 following a police investigation into the discovery of a bomb which was hidden in an advertising hoarding in the Brompton Park area of north Belfast.

Belfast Crown Court heard that while Corbett was linked to the incident by purchasing a mobile phone and top-up vouchers used in connection with the bomb plot, there was no evidence to suggest he was involved in either the preparation or placing of the device.

A Crown prosecutor said Corbett’s involvement came to light during the police investigation into the device left in Ardoyne.

Corbett was arrested on May 7 2015 after CCTV footage from CastleCourt in Belfast city centre and a Eurospar store in Ardoyne linked him to the purchase of a mobile phone and top-up vouchers used in a bomb warning to a local priest.

During a search of his flat, officers located a number of items which the Crown say showed sympathies with the republican cause. These items included a handkerchief of Padraig Pearse which had been signed by prisoners from the dissident wing in Maghaberry. Other items located included a crossbow, a black balaclava and political poems written by Corbett.

The prosecutor revealed that two items linked to terrorism were also located. One was a piece of paper which had been folded and hidden in a doorbell box and which related to component parts of a rifle and ammunition and instructions on how to assemble an AK-47.

Also seized was Corbett’s laptop and when it was examined, located was a AK-47 instruction and safety manual. The prosecution said it was accepted that this 95-page document was “readily available on the internet”.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC released Corbett, who has already spent seven months in custody for the offences, on continuing bail before sentencing next Monday.