Terror charges admitted

Damien 'Dee' Harkin.
Damien 'Dee' Harkin.

Three Derry men yesterday pleaded guilty to having an armour piercing bomb and articles for use in acts of terrorism.

Jason Lee Anna Ceulemans (42), Damien Harkin (48), and 49-year-old Neil Christoper Hegarty, pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to possessing “an explosively formed projectile (EFP) type improvised device” with intent to endanger life.

Ceulemans, from the Lecky Road, Harkin from Westland Avenue and Hegarty, from Sackville Court, also admitted having two walkie talkies and a torch for a terrorist purpose on the same date, December 6, 2012. Previous hearings were told the usually rocket fired EFP, a special type of shaped charge designed to penetrate armour effectively at distances, was uncovered in a car stopped by the police in the Creggan area. The court heard that the men did not intend using the device themselves, but there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction their possession was on a “second limb” basis.

A prosecution lawyer said that in view of the guilty pleas, two other charges, one of conspiracy to cause an explosion using the device, and secondly of possessing it under suspicious circumstances, should be allowed to ‘remain on the books’, and not proceeded with, without leave of the court and the Court of Appeal.

The trio, whose guilty pleas followed applications by their defence lawyers, Mark Mulholland QC, Barry Macdonald QC, and Martin O’Rourke QC, will be sentenced next month