Breaking News: Mortar bomb accused is acquitted

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A Lurgan man, who was on trial accused of plotting to kill police officers with a mortar bomb, has been acquitted.

Ryan McKenna, 25, from Lurgantarry, faced three charges of conspiracy to cause explosions, possession of explosives with intent to endanger life or damage property and possession of explosives under suspicious circumstances.

They relate to the discovery of an improvised mortar bomb in 2007.

Mr McKenna had denied all the charges.

Three other men - Sean McConville, Gary Toman and Damien McKenna, the accused’s brother - had pleaded guilty to possessing explosives with intent to endanger life and were sentenced to 15 years in prison following a previous trial.

The three men had been linked to the device by DNA evidence.

During the trial earlier this week a prosecution lawyer said: “His presence together with this group shows clearly that he agreed with them that an attack would be carried out to kill or cause serious injury or cause serious damage to property.”

However, after the prosecution offered no further evidence against Mr McKenna the judge ordered that the accused be acquitted.

It’s expected Mr McKenna will return home this evening.

The acquittal came after today’s print edition of the Lurgan Mail went to press.