Northern Ireland

Adrian Ismay: Murder accused's brother ordered to court

Adrian Ismay Image copyright ISMAY FAMILY
Image caption Adrian Ismay died 11 days after he was injured when a bomb exploded under his van

The brother of a man on trial for the murder of prison officer Adrian Ismay has been ordered to appear in court on Monday.

Peter Robinson was due to give evidence on Wednesday at the trial of his brother Christopher Robinson, of Aspen Park, Twinbrook.

Mr Ismay, a 52-year-old father of three, survived a bomb explosion outside his east Belfast home in March 2016 but later died from his injuries.

Christopher Robinson denies murder.

The 48-year-old is also on trial for causing an explosion and providing a car for terrorism.

His non-jury trial had been adjourned since October but resumed on Tuesday.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Christopher Robinson denies Mr Ismay's murder

A witness has claimed Peter Robinson switched off CCTV at the hostel where they both worked the evening before the bomb exploded under Mr Ismay's van.

He claimed he told him it was because "our Chrissie" was coming.

'Outweighs the need'

A medical note was presented at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday, and Peter Robinson's lawyer said his client had a history of panic attacks and his attendance "would cause significant deterioration in his mental state".

The lawyer also said previous police assessments found he was at an increased risk of becoming a target for dissident republicans if he took part in the case.

But Mr Justice McAlinden told the court he did not consider the potential impact of attending the case "outweighs the need for him to attend to give evidence in this matter".

The judge said an arrest warrant would be issued if he did not attend court by 11:00 BST on Monday.

Several members of staff from the west Belfast youth hostel also gave evidence and confirmed to the court that the CCTV system was working on the evening of 3 March 2016.

They said Peter Robinson was one of two members of staff who took over as night shift staff from 20:00.

They said they saw him arriving in his Citroen C3 car and parking outside the front of the hostel between 19:20 and 19:25.

It is the prosecution case that Christopher Robinson drove a Citroen C3 to plant a bomb under Mr Ismay's van.

The trial continues.