Sunday 19 November 2017

Man charged over police station attack

George Jackson

HEAVILY armed officers stood guard as a father-of-four was charged in court with a 200lb car-bomb attack on a police station.

A district judge in Derry yesterday refused bail for Philip O'Donnell, who appeared in court charged with carrying out the explosion on the city's PSNI headquarters last week.

The 42-year-old arrived in a police Landrover from the Antrim Serious Crime Suite to face 12 terrorist-related offences.

The defendant remained silent during the remand hearing. His wife and other family members and friends were in court for the hearing.

Mr O'Donnell, from Baldrick Crescent in the Rosemount area of Derry, is charged with causing an explosion likely to endanger life or of causing serious injury to property.

He is also charged with possessing explosives with intent, possessing a firearm or imitation firearm, hijacking a taxi and falsely imprisoning a taxi driver and membership of proscribed organisation Oglaigh na hEireann.


In addition, Mr O'Donnell, a joiner, is charged with attempting to hijack two taxis, attempting to cause two explosions and possessing a firearm or imitation firearms on separate dates.

Chief Inspector Ian Magee said he was opposing the defendant being granted bail because of the serious nature of the charges and because he believed the defendant would flee the jurisdiction.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said his client, who was arrested at his home last week, "has health issues and only walks with difficulty -- his health issues require constant care".

Refusing bail, the judge described the charges as "very serious" and "related to a very serious incident recently".

He remanded Mr O'Donnell in custody to appear in court again for a video link hearing on September 2.

Irish Independent

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