Ballymena Court hears man is charged with having explosive devices and creating a ‘library of documents likely to be of use in terrorism’

A MAN charged with having explosive devices with intent to endanger life and creating a ‘library of documents’ likely to be of use in terrorism has had his case sent to the Crown Court.

Niall Lehd (31) appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court, sitting in Antrim, on Thursday to face five charges – one regarding ‘preparation of terrorist acts’ and four of ‘possessing explosive with intent to endanger life’.

The detailed charges he faces are as follows:

‘Defendant between the 1st day of January 2011 and the 5th day of September 2016, with the intention of committing acts of terrorism or assisting another to commit such acts, engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect to your intention, namely manufacturing explosive substances; constructing explosive devices; creating and maintaining hides to store explosive substances, explosive devices, components for explosive devices, imitation firearm and ammunition, tools and resources used during the construction of explosive devices and other assorted items linked to the preparation of an act of terrorism; purchasing or otherwise obtaining articles for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism specifically chemicals and components to be used in the manufacture of explosive substances and the construction of explosive devices, and conducted research resulting in the creation of a library of documents providing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism specifically information regarding the manufacture of explosive substances and the construction of explosive devices contrary to section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006.

‘Defendant on a date unknown between 31st day of March 2016 and 5th day of September 2016, unlawfully and maliciously had in your possession or under your control, namely, an Explosively Formed Projectile with an Erythritol Tetranitrate main charge, a Claymore mine, a quantity of pipe bomb type improvised explosive devices, a quantity of plastic improvised explosives devices, a quantity of Ignitor safety fuse electric fuses, a quantity of ignition switches, a quantity of Erythritol Tetranitrate and a quantity of diazodinitrophenol, with intent by means thereof to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom or to enable some other person so to do contrary to Section 3(1)(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883.

‘Defendant on a date unknown between 31st day of March 2016 and 12th day of July 2016, unlawfully and maliciously had in your possession or under your control, and otherwise as alleged above, a pipe bomb type improvised explosive device, with intent by means thereof to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom or to enable some other person so to do contrary to Section 3(1)(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883.

‘Defendant on a date unknown between 31st day of March 2016 and 25th day of August 2016, unlawfully and maliciously had in your possession or under your control, and otherwise as alleged above, a pipe bomb type improvised explosive device, with intent by means thereof to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom or to enable some other person so to do contrary to Section 3(1)(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883

‘Defendant on a date unknown between 31st day of March 2016 and 15th day of December 2016, unlawfully and maliciously had in your possession or under your control, and otherwise as alleged above, a pipe bomb type improvised explosive device, with intent by means thereof to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom or to enable some other person so to do contrary to Section 3(1)(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883’.

The defendant, with an address listed as Seahill Road in Larne, told the court he didn’t object to the holding of a Preliminary Enquiry – the legal step to send a case to the Crown Court.

A prosecutor submitted there was a case to answer and a defence lawyer had “no contrary submissions”.

District Judge Peter King said a “prima facie” case had been established.

The defence lawyer applied for two counsel for when the case gets to the Crown Court saying the charges were of “extreme gravity”.

The lawyer said it was a “very substantial case” and he was aware of at least five or six lever arch files and added that it was expected there would be a similar further number of files.

Judge King said it was a “complex” and also “high-profile case”.

No details regarding the background to the allegations were given at Thursday’s Court sitting.

The case was adjourned for a Crown Court date to be fixed.

Leave a reply