Adrian Ismay murder probe file expected in court next month

Christopher Robinson was in Belfast Magistrates' Court for the progress report
Christopher Robinson was in Belfast Magistrates' Court for the progress report

An investigation file into the killing of a prison officer in Belfast is expected to be completed by the end of the month, a judge has been told.

Prosecutors provided the update as Christopher Robinson appeared back in court on a charge of murdering Adrian Ismay.

Mr Ismay, 52, suffered serious leg injuries when a booby-trap bomb exploded under the van while he was driving in the east of the city in March.

He had been recovering, but died following a return to hospital 11 days later.

Robinson, 46, of Aspen Park in Dunmurry, faces a further charge of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life.

He is allegedly linked to the bombing by CCTV footage of a car believed to have been used to plant the device at the victim’s Hillsborough Drive home early on March 4.

Forensic examination of the car revealed traces of RDX, an identifier in high explosive material, on its rear floor and seats, a previous court was told.

Robinson was said to have known Mr Ismay through working together as volunteers with St John Ambulance.

The accused, who is out on bail, attended Belfast Magistates’ Court for a progress report on the case against him.

A Public Prosecution Service lawyer said a full investigation file is still outstanding, but is due to be submitted by the end of the month.

Based on that disclosure, defence counsel Sean Devine pressed for a further review next week.

But raising an issue over forensic reports, District Judge Fiona Bagnall instead adjourned proceedings until August 24 for confirmation that work has been completed.

She also resisted a request for Robinson to be excused from attending court again on that date.

“It would need to be (a reason) that he’s not capable of coming down,” she said.

“So I would expect him to be here.”