A man charged with the attempted murder of a police officer in Eglinton outside Derry in June last year has been refused compassionate bail to see his new born child.
35 year old Sean McVeigh of Victoria Street in Lurgan is charged with the attempted murder of the officer and possessing Semtex on June 18 last year.
At Derry Magistrate's Court, solicitor for McVeigh Mr. Peter Corrigan applied for five hour compassionate bail so that McVeigh could visit his wife and new born child that was born at the weekend. The solicitor said there was precedent for such releases and McVeigh could be accompanied by a solicitor and or a clergyman. He added that due to the European Arrest Warrant there would be no point in McVeigh fleeing the jurisdiction.
He told the court the High Court had refused McVeigh bail last week on the grounds of the risk of further offences. However, a prosecution barrister outlined the case against McVeigh and said that the police officer's wife, who is also a serving officer, had seen a man planting a device under her husband's car.
He said she had rapped the window and the man had run off.
The device was an under car improvised explosive device containing 321 grammes of Semtex. Following the incident two cars with Southern registrations were seen crossing the Foyle Bridge heading in the direction of Donegal.
Gardai were alerted and stopped a car at Killygordon with McVeigh as one of the passengers.
The barrister said 3 pairs of gloves were found along the route of that car and traces of the explosive compound RDX were found on two of the gloves. He said that traces of the explosives also found on McVeigh's clothing.
The barrister said there was a 'genuine risk of flight' and told the court 'it is the police view that if this man is released he will not turn up for his trial.' He added that the other two men in the vehicle when it was stopped were still at large.
The court was told the attack was claimed by the IRA which the barrister said was 'a danger'. He added there was no reason why McVeigh's partner and the child could not visit him. Mr. Corrigan said there was every incentive for his client to turn up for his trial and added that others charged with 'the most serious offences' had been granted compassionate bail in the past.
Deputy District Judge Harry McKibbon said these were 'most serious offences and he considered there was 'a genuine risk of flight.' He refused the application.