Man charged with possessing 100lb bomb outside court

Bishop's Street Court House L'Derry
Image caption Police found a car in Bishop Street car park with a beer keg inside pointing in the direction of the courthouse

A 49-year-old man has appeared in court charged with possession of a 100lb bomb.

Londonderry Magistrates Court was told that DNA linked Eamon Terence Cassidy, with an address at Maghaberry Prison, to the device.

The bomb was left in a beer keg inside a car found abandoned in Bishop Street car park - across the road from the courthouse - in March 2011.

Mr Cassidy was remanded in custody until next month.

The defendant was charged with possessing explosive substances, including ammonium-nitrate-based fertiliser and sugar, as well as explosive substances known as PETN and RDX, with intent to endanger life or damage property.

A prosecution barrister said that on 27 March last year a worker at a residential home in Bishop Street received a phone call to say that a bomb had been left near the courthouse.

Other telephone warnings were made to a dispatcher in a taxi office, and a local parochial house.

The caller said he represented a paramilitary organisation which he refused to name, but gave a recognised code word.

The barrister said the police found a green Vauxhall Astra car in Bishop Street car park with a beer keg inside pointing in the direction of the courthouse.

The car had earlier been stolen in the Glengalliagh area of Derry.

The barrister said a sniffer dog indicated the presence of explosives and the bomb was defused following a controlled explosion.

The court was told that among the items recovered from the car were a power unit, a booster tube, and an improvised detonator.

The defendant was subsequently linked to the charge through DNA investigations.

As he was taken from the dock, the defendant blew a kiss towards his family, one of whom said "I love you".

Mr Cassidy was remanded in custody pending a further court hearing on 8 March.