Fermanagh man acquitted of constructing bomb placed under car of PSNI officer in east Belfast

A Co Fermanagh man was acquitted of building a bomb planted under a police officer’s car.

In a lengthy Belfast Crown Court ruling, Judge Fowler found Peter Granaghan “not guilty” of the attempted murder of the police officer and of the manufacture and possession of explosives with intent to endanger life.

The charges stemmed from an incident that triggered a security alert in the car park at Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast on Saturday 1 June 2019.

Army technical experts were called into the parking lot and dealt with the TNT-filled wooden box device that had been attached to the underside of the officer’s Cherokee jeep.

Although his DNA was found inside the device, Mr Justice Fowler noted that the Crown had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Granaghan had a hand in its construction.

The senior judge said he had carefully reviewed the Crown’s evidence and also reviewed evidence “that points away from the accused’s guilt and casts doubt on the prosecution’s premise that the accused’s DNA was deposited by primary transmission when the device.” was built”.

He said a “significant matter differing from Mr Granaghan’s involvement in the manufacture of the device was expert evidence confirming there was a “reasonable possibility” that his DNA could have been deposited by “tertiary transfer”.

As well as Mr Granaghan’s DNA, which was found on wire inside the bomb, the Crown also produced circumstantial evidence which it said supported his guilt.

These included, according to the Crown, images found on a laptop during a search of his home in Blackrock Park, Belleek, and dealings with known terrorists both before and after his arrest and remand in September 2019.

Mr Justice Fowler acquitted the 41-year-old, saying: “While the other circumstantial evidence may raise suspicions that the accused was involved in this incident, it is not sufficient to establish evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, regardless how strong the suspicion is

“It is not enough to convince me beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant participated in the design or preparation of this device – and accordingly I find the defendant not guilty in any case.”

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/courts/fermanagh-man-acquitted-of-constructing-bomb-placed-under-car-of-psni-officer-in-east-belfast-42082700.html Fermanagh man acquitted of constructing bomb placed under car of PSNI officer in east Belfast

Linh

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