Northern Ireland

'RAAD attacks reduce after curfew imposed on suspect'

A man's application for bail variation has been delayed after police said he was a key player in the Republican Action Against Drugs vigilante gang.

Kieron George McCool, 42, from Ederowen Park, in Galliagh, Londonderry, is accused of having a stun-gun.

His solicitor told Londonderry Magistrates' Court the gun was for self-defence.

A detective said that there appeared to be fewer attacks by the group since a curfew had been imposed on Mr McCool.

The court heard that Mr McCool, who is electronically tagged and has to observe a curfew between 2000 and 0800 BST, wanted to have his bail conditions changed to allow him to look after his four-year-old son, who has medical difficulties.

A solicitor for the defence said that, because of medical difficulties, the child had problems sleeping at night and his client wanted the bail conditions varied to allow him to take his son for walks and drives during his curfew hours.

Opposing the application, a police officer told the court that Mr McCool was a significant member of Republican Action Against Drugs and was instrumental in carrying out attacks and other activities on their behalf.

The District Judge, Barney McElhome, said he found it difficult to understand how taking a four-year-old child for a walk or a car journey in the middle of the night was beneficial.

The judge added that, before he would seriously consider the application, he wanted to hear evidence from an appropriate medical expert about the child's condition.

He said he would also want proof that the applicant was the sole carer for the child.

The application was adjourned until 18 October.