Man accused of having ‘rocket’ refused bail

A man accused of being in possession of a ‘rocket’ which police believe was specifically designed to pierce through armoured vehicles has been refused bail.

Damien Joseph Harkin, of Westland Avenue, is one of three men charged with possession of an explosively formed projectile with intent to endanger life.

The 47-year-old is further charged with conspiracy to murder and possessing articles for use in terrorism.

It is alleged the offences were committed between November 22 and December 7, last year.

Opposing bail, a prosecution barrister told Derry Crown Court their objections to bail remained the same.

Police fear Harkin would fail to surrender to bail or would commit further offences.

Defence counsel Andrew Moriarty said there was a substantial surety of £45,000 available to the court and his client would agree to any proposed bail conditions.

He added that Harkin had been released on compassionate bail in January to attend his cousin’s funeral and there were “no incidents whatsoever”.

District Judge Barney McElholm said:“Unfortunately there are far too many weapons of this nature, guns and munitions, still in this country and there are a number of armed groups. Society needs to protect itself”. He said he was satisfied there is a “real risk of further offending” and Harkin “is not a suitable candidate for bail”.

The 47-year-old will appear in court again on March 25.