Forensics ‘weak’ in case against Lurgan man accused of attempted murder

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The forensic case against a Co Armagh man charged with the attempted murder of a police officer outside Derry has been described as “weak”, a court has heard.

Sean McVeigh (35) also faces a charge of possessing explosives on June 18 last year.

A device was found under a car at Glenrandel in Eglinton in what police described as a “clear attempt” to kill officers.

At Derry Magistrate’s Court yesterday (Thursday), defence solicitor Peter Corrigan said they had received a forensic report that had not been put to McVeigh - of Victoria Street in Lurgan - at interview.

Mr Corrigan said gardaí had commissioned the report and in relation to McVeigh’s clothing it found there was “weak support for the proposition he had been in contact with RDX”.

He said there were five graduations for forensic reports ranging from conclusive support, to strong, to support, to weak and then no support.

“I can see why the conclusions of this report were not put to him as this report supports the defence case.”

Mr Corrigan said authorities in the Republic had decided there was insufficient evidence to mount a prosecution and while a decision in one jurisdiction was not binding on another, the same report was being relied on to mount a prosecution here.

The solicitor claimed there was no basis for the case to continue and called on the prosecuting authorities to re-consider.

A prosecution barrister said its case relied on four aspects including CCTV, eyewitness, vehicle recognition and forensic evidence.

District Judge Barney McElholm said he would adjourn until Monday to allow a bail application to be made.