Northern Ireland

Accused is 'key member of RAAD'

A judge has refused an application to lift electronic tagging and curfew restrictions on a man described in court as "a key member" of dissident republican group, Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD).

Kieran McCool, 42, from Laburnum Terrace, is charged with possessing an improvised stun gun.

A detective told the court that restrictions should remain in place.

He alleged attacks by RAAD had decreased since Mr McCool's arrest.

Mr McCool's solicitor said his client was not a member of any organisation.

Londonderry Magistrates' Court heard the accused was one of three men in a car which was stopped by police at Elmwood Road in Derry on 16 July this year.

A scanning device, paramilitary clothing and balaclavas were found inside vehicle.

The police then searched Mr McCool's house, and found the improvised weapon.

A police witness told the court that during interview, Mr McCool said the stun gun was for his own protection.

It was tested on a piece of metal, and caused scorch damage.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said the activities of RAAD had continued despite the tagging and curfew conditions imposed on his client.

He said that as a result of the court conditions the parental responsibility of caring for five children had fallen on Mr McCool's wife.

District judge Greg McCourt said the circumstances of Mr McCool's arrest were "serious", and refused the application.