Northern Ireland

Belfast bomb: Man in court over attempted murder of prison officer

A security operation in place at Hillsborough Drive following the explosion Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The bomb exploded under the prison officer's van in east Belfast last week

A man has appeared in court charged with the attempted murder of a prison officer in a bomb attack in Belfast last week.

The officer, 52, was seriously injured when a booby-trap device exploded under his van on Friday, 4 March.

Christopher Alphonsos Robinson, of Aspen Park in Dunmurry, County Antrim, appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court.

The 45-year-old was also charged with possessing an improvised explosive device with intent to endanger life.

There was an increased police presence in court for the hearing. A detective constable said he could connect Mr Robinson to the charges.

When asked by the clerk if he understood the charges, Mr Robinson did not reply, but let out a loud sigh.

A defence solicitor told the court that Mr Robinson was not applying for bail, but said during 16 police interviews, "no evidence was actually put" to the defendant to link him to the attack.

Mr Robinson was remanded in custody to appear again on 1 April via video-link.

A dissident republican group known as the New IRA has said it carried out the attack.

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