PSNI to appeal release on bail of man accused of mortar charges

PACEMAKER BELFAST 06/03/2013   Gary McDaid is taken from Derry Magistrates court this morning where he appeared  with another man charged with the foiled mortar attack in Derry last Sunday night. The two me  were caught by PSNI transporting 4 live mortars in a Citroen van for what is believed to have been attack on the PSNI head quarters on Strand Road.'Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 06/03/2013 Gary McDaid is taken from Derry Magistrates court this morning where he appeared with another man charged with the foiled mortar attack in Derry last Sunday night. The two me were caught by PSNI transporting 4 live mortars in a Citroen van for what is believed to have been attack on the PSNI head quarters on Strand Road.'Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
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A 38 year-old Derry man accused of involvement in a planned dissident republican motor attack has been granted bail at Derry Magistrates Court.

Gary McDaid was released on bail by Deputy District Judge Liam McStay following a bail application hearing in Bishop Street Courthouse yesterday.

He was arrested on March 3 after the PSNI stopped a van and a motorcycle on the Letterkenny Road close to the junction with Lone Moor Road. The van contained four primed mortar devices in firing tubes and a blast bomb attached to a petrol canister. The roof of the van had been cut away to allow the devices to be fired.

McDaid was riding a motorcycle which was travelling a short distance behind the van, which was driven by co-accused, Seamus McLaughlin.

Both are facing charges of conspiracy to cause an explosion, possession of explosives with intent to endanger life, and possession of articles for use in terror.

At yesterday’s bail application, defence solicitor Ciaran Shields from Madden and Finucane Solicitors, read from a psychological report into McDaid’s health which he said raised “marked mental health fears.”

“The current position is that Mr McDaid is being held in Guantanamo-like conditions. The only material in his cell is a plastic chair. He has no photographs and is not allowed reading material. He has been prescribed psychoactive medication and sees a psychiatric nurse once a week. He suffers from a glaucomic condition. He has not seen natural light for more than 130 days,” he said.

A PSNI detective constable opposed bail and claimed the defendant could pose a risk to the public or flee the jurisdiction if released.

The defendant’s mother, Ann McDaid, said her son would abide by any bail conditions and that she would report any breaches to the police.

Deputy District Judge McStay agreed to release McDaid on bail to his mother’s address. He also ordered that a cash surety of £25,000 and the deeds of two houses be lodged with the court. The defendant was also ordered to surrender his passports and not to leave the jurisdiction. He will be fitted with an electronic tag and was ordered to sign bail daily at Strand Road PSNI Station and leave the area immediately afterwards. He was also ordered to observe a curfew from 8pm-8am and not attend any parades linked to dissident republicanism.

He was remanded to appear before the court again on August 29. A prosecution solicitor said the PSNI intended to appeal McDaid’s release.