Eirigi man faces fresh charges
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
A NEWRY man charged with possessing "thousands of photographs of police" which were likely to be of use to terrorists has been refused bail by Banbridge Magistrates' Court.
Stephen Martin Murney, with an address at Derrybeg Terrace, appeared in court on Thursday to face charges of collecting information likely to be of use of terrorists and aiding and abetting criminal damage.
The 29-year-old was already being held at Maghaberry Prison in relation to previous charges of collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists when he was released into police custody for further questioning on Wednesday (February 20).
During the court proceedings, when over 20 supporters of Murney packed out the courtroom, a bail application was made by his defence, which was strongly opposed by the prosecution.
The Investigating Officer told the court she believed she could connect Murney to the charges, before the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said that they felt that Mr Murney, who is the Newry spokesperson for republican group eirigi, was at "real risk of committing further offences and that he would fail to surrender to the court".
The court heard that the photographs in question were found in his possession when his house was searched.
“Additional photographs have been found that were posted onto Facebook with various slogans attached," said a member of the Public Prosecution Service, objecting to bail.
“Thousands of photographs of police have now been recovered and the threat assessed against the police is severe. It is the view that this threat has been enhanced by these additional charges.
“The group with which the defendant is believed to be associated with are Ireland-wide and are known for facilitating a safe passage out of the country."
District Judge Paul Copeland said that the matter of bail was something that should be referred to the High Court and he formally refused bail.
Mr Murney will be detained in custody until March 6 when he will appear in Newry Magistrates' Court by way of video-link.
“He is entitled to apply to the High Court," added District Judge Copeland.
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