Terror accused has bail variation bid refused after he lied about job offer

A man charged over an alleged dissident spy plot on an ex-policeman has had a bail variation bid thrown out of court for making a false job claim.

Ciaran Magee, 26, now of Commons Hall Road in Newry, Co Down, is awaiting trial on charges of preparing acts of terrorism, possessing articles for use in terrorism and trying to collect information on a retired PSNI officer.

At Belfast Crown Court, a defence barrister moved an application to vary Magee’s current bail signing conditions to allow him to “avail of a job opportunity’’.

He told Judge Geoffrey Miller QC that the variation in the signing was being sought because the job included shift work which would affect his current signing arrangement.

The investigating officer in the case told the court that he was notified last Monday, November 12, about the application and two days later received an email about the variation.

He said the email from the defence solicitor provided “scant details’’ about the variation in bail signing.

The detective sergeant told Judge Miller: “I contacted the company as I wasn’t satisfied.

“I spoke to the operations manager. I was told that although the applicant had an interview on November 9, the offer of employment was declined as he had been untruthful at interview.’’

The detective said that Magee told the company that he had not been able to work on medical grounds when in fact “he had been on remand (in custody) for 18 months’’.

“The company told me that that he was told on November 9 that the job offer was declined,’’ added the detective.

Judge Miller said the evidence of the detective sergeant “completely contradicts’’ that of Magee who he said had made a “false application for bail variation’’.

The defence barrister told the judge that the evidence from the detective sergeant had “come out of left field this morning’’.

In the light of the police officer’s evidence to the court, Judge Miller said: “I am refusing this application.’’