Jim Allister QC on Thursday sent this letter to the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Declan Morgan, about the man who has gone missing ahead of his trial for dissident terror charges. Mr Allister also copied the letter to the media
Dear Chief Justice,
Re: Damien Joseph McLaughlin
I write to express my dismay at the situation which has evolved in respect of the above accused, particularly the role of our Bail Courts in same.
It is reported that by a series of bail term variations key conditions were removed to the point that the accused found it easy to abscond.
What review are you conducting into the handling of this case and the court’s contribution to the distressing outcome for the Black family, and what lessons have been learned?
I trust you will write appropriately to the Black family and, like the PSNI, apologise for this bungled situation.
Jim Allister MLA, TUV leader, Sormont
• THE NEWS LETTER HAS LED THE WAY IN REPORTING THIS SCANDAL. A FULL LIST OF LINKS TO OUR STORIES BELOW: