Blood stains found in back of priest’s car is ‘primary evidence’ against man arrested in Portadown

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Blood stains found on the back seat of a priest’s car is the ‘primary evidence’ against a man arrested at Portadown train station this week.

Paul Campbell 37. of The Mills, Coalislande is accused of attempting to bomb a police station in 1997.

Campbell has been living in County Monaghan for the last four years.

He was arrested at the railway station in Portadown at the weekend - 18 years after the IED attack on the RUC station in Coalisland.

He appeared on Wednesday before East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court accused of causing an explosion with intent to endanger life on March 26 1997.

A detective sergeant from the PSNI outlined the case against the accused.

She said that on the night of the attack two males had been spotted running from the scene down a laneway. An SAS soldier gave fire as he believed the men to be drawing weapons.

One of the men, Gareth Doris, was struck and seriously injured.

As the soldiers treated the wounded man - who was subsequently imprisoned for his part in the attack - they were surrounded by a large crowd and had to vacate the area.

Despite being shot at by the SAS, the other man made good his escape in a white car. Police contend that the second individual was Paul Campbell.

She informed the court that the car belonged to the local parish priest, Father Seamus Rice, who later told the officers that he had slowed down after hearing a series of loud bangs. He had then heard someone shout, “There’s Father Rice” before an unknown male had jumped in the back of his car and demanded that he make off.

Amid their flight from the scene the back window of the car was smashed by bullets.

Fr Rice stopped on the Stewartstown Road where the man got out and made off on foot.