Terror plot accused banned from dissident gatherings

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A man accused of being part of a terror plot targeting a retired police officer is banned from going within 800 metres of any dissident republican gathering, a High Court judge has ordered.

The prohibition was imposed on Shea Reynolds as he was granted bail on a charge connected to the discovery of an improvised explosive device in Lurgan 17 months ago.

Mr Justice Burgess held that the 24-year-old should be released from custody because a potential trial may not take place until next year.

Reynolds, of Kilwilke Road in the town, was one of four men arrested during a police operation in September 2016.

He faces a charge of preparing a terrorist act, namely targeting a former member of the security forces.

At previous hearings it was claimed that a camera had been used to film the retired officer’s home.

Prosecutors linked the alleged conspiracy to a dissident grouping styling itself the New IRA.

Reynolds, said to have worked in marketing consultancy, mounted a fresh bid to secure bail based on delays in the case.

Defence lawyers stressed both the length of time he has now spent behind bars and his clear record.

Ruling the renewed application, the judge pointed out that a preliminary examination of the allegations has yet to be completed.

He said that even if Reynolds is ultimately returned for trial, that might not be held before 2019.

“With such an extended period of time I’m satisfied that bail should be granted, but on the strictest conditions,” Mr Justice Burgess confirmed.

He imposed a curfew and electronic monitoring, a ban on contacting any co-accused or witnesses, ordered Reynolds to surrender his passport and set the cash surety at £4,000.

The judge also directed that he must not attend or be within 800m of any gathering, rally or protest involving dissident republican activity.