Northern Ireland

Adrian Ismay murder: Christopher Robinson arrested twice in 48 hours

Adrain Ismay Image copyright Ismay family
Image caption Prison office Adrian Ismay died as a result of his injuries after a bomb exploded under his van in east Belfast in March

A man accused of murdering a prison officer in a Belfast bomb attack was arrested twice within a 48-hour period after being bailed, a court has heard.

Christopher Robinson, of Aspen Park in Dunmurry, on the outskirts of west Belfast, is accused of killing prison office Adrian Ismay in March.

Mr Ismay died 11 days after a dissident republican bomb attack on his van.

Mr Robinson was arrested on suspicion of breaching his bail conditions and of tampering with his electronic tag.

He has now been charged with causing criminal damage to the monitoring device.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The bomb partially exploded after Mr Ismay drove his van over a speed ramp

The 45-year-old defendant was initially granted bail on the murder charge on Wednesday, 4 May, but had to agree to observe a night-time curfew and be fitted with an electronic tag.

However, he was returned to custody the next day for failing to respond to a police check at his home in the early hours of the morning.

However, it was not suggested that Mr Robinson was away from the bail address at the time and on Thursday he was re-bailed with a warning he must answer the door when police call.

On Friday morning, officers detained him again after a security firm reported an issue with Mr Robinson's electronic tag.

The defendant was brought back before Belfast Magistrates' Court, where his lawyers argued that the tag had come loose as the result of a fall outside his home.

The judge rejected requests to revoke bail and Mr Robinson was released for a third time.

After the hearing, his defence solicitor said: "In the last 48 hours the police have arrested my client on two occasions and have been unsuccessful on both occasions in having him returned to prison.

"My client is concerned this is the start of a campaign of harassment against him while he's on bail."

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