Bail eased for man accused of trying to target ex-policeman

A Co Armagh man accused of attempting to target a former policeman has had his bail varied to allow him to return and visit family and friends in his home town of Lurgan.

The 49-year-old, Damien Daniel Duffy, originally from Campbell Walk in the town, however, must still live at his bail address in Co Tyrone.

In addition his tagging device is also to be removed, and his curfew time has been put back to 11pm each evening.

Belfast Crown Court Judge Geoffrey Miller QC accepted the arguments of defence counsel Sean Devine that any bail restrictions must be proportionate and necessary and simply not just desirable.

Judge Miller said that on balance it would be appropriate to remove the prohibition on Duffy entering Lurgan and for the removal of his monitoring device.

However, he added such a move may result in him being subjected to increased checking with regard to his curfew.

The prosecution had objected to the variations on the grounds that the risk of further offending was significant given his previous relevant terrorist-related convictions.

He denies three charges, including engaging in the preparation of acts of terrorism by deploying a wildlife camera, possessing the camera for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism, and attempting to collect information of the movements of a former PSNI officer, all between September 13 and 21, 2016.

Duffy, who is to go on trial in early September, had spent 17 months in custody following his arrest before finally being granted bail in March last year.