Northern Ireland

Adrian Ismay murder: Christopher Robinson searched prison officer online

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

A man accused of murdering a prison officer made dozens of internet searches about the victim before and after he was attacked, a court heard.

Christopher Robinson denies murdering 52-year-old Adrian Ismay.

Mr Ismay died from injuries sustained in a bomb explosion outside his east Belfast home in 2016.

Mr Robinson, who is 48 and from Aspen Park in Twinbrook, volunteered at St John Ambulance at the same time as the father of four.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Christopher Robinson denies killing Mr Ismay

On Wednesday, an independent evidence analyst told the court she could confirm that numerous searches about Mr Ismay were made from Mr Robinson's phone.

They included specific searches in the months leading up to the attack about information regarding Mr Ismay's role in emergency care.

He also searched for the opening hours of the Tesco store near the prison officer's home.

On the morning Mr Ismay was injured, the court heard that the accused viewed numerous online news articles about the incident.

A lawyer for Mr Robinson said it was understandable that his client would have viewed online articles about the attack, as many others did that day.

Image caption A bomb detonated under Adrian Ismay's van in the Cregagh area of Belfast

He also said that there was nothing unusual about people using search engines on their phones before bed and early in the morning, as Mr Robinson did.

Previously, the non-jury trial heard transcripts of police interviews given by Mr Ismay from his hospital bed.

In them, the victim said he said "got on well" with Mr Robinson during their time volunteering together and they never discussed religion or politics.

In that hearing, the court also heard that Mr Ismay had never worked at Maghaberry Prison or been involved in training in the dissident republican wing at the prison.

The trial continues.

Related Topics