Terror suspect’s bid to have electronic tag removed rejected

Court
Court

A Belfast woman awaiting trial on charges including attempting to kill a police officer made an unsuccessful bid to have her electronic tag removed on Friday.

Christine Connor asked G4S staff to remove the tag after she claimed she received 13 calls from the security company between midnight and 5am on the morning of January 18.

However, the removal of the tag was in breach of stringent bail conditions imposed and the 30-year-old was arrested and remanded back into custody.

Connor, whose address cannot be disclosed due to a reporting restriction, is facing trial with co-accused Stuart Downes, from Shrewsbury, on charges arising from incidents linked to dissident activity in May 2013.

The charges are linked to two separate attacks on police, including a pipe bomb attack on members of the PSNI in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast.

After spending two years on remand, Connor was granted bail last year, with one of the conditions that she be electronically tagged.

Solicitor Michael Madden said his client had abided by the conditions including a curfew, but said there had been recent issues with Connor’s tag and asked that it be removed.

Mr Madden told Belfast Crown Court that in the early hours of January 18, Connor had received 13 calls from G4S which meant she could not sleep.

Revealing that Connor was “at the end of her tether”, Mr Madden said the impact of the calls was affecting her health.

Calls from the defence for Connor’s tag to be removed were opposed by the Crown, who argued that it was a necessary part of her bail conditions.

Crown prosecutor Robin Steer said that whilst G4S “accepted there were a number of calls”, it was the view of the PSNI that Connor was “deliberately trying to interfere with the tag”.

Judge Gordon Kerr refused the application to have the tag removed, saying it was deemed by the court to be “necessary as part of the bail package”.

He did, however, readmit Connors to bail on the grounds she is electronically tagged again.