Derry man Anthony Friel on explosive charges

A man has been refused bail at Londonderry Magistrates Court when he appeared on explosives charges.

Anthony Thomas Friel, of Gartan Square, was charged with possessing three improvised explosive devices and three timer units with intent to endanger life.

Friel was also charged with possessing other items including batteries, a heat gun and boiler suits.

He has been in custody since his arrest in May.

A prosecution barrister told the court Mr Friel was stopped by police while driving his taxi and arrested under section 41 of the terrorism act.

A police officer said at the time of the defendant's arrest, three sets of keys for a flat on Maureen Avenue were found in his possession.

The officer said Friel was the tenant of the flat and no-one else had access to the premises.

She said the police believed that the flat was used for the storage and manufacturer of the explosive devices.

The court was told the flat was devoid of a bed, of food and of other personal effects.

The officer objected to the defendant being released on bail because of fears of him committing further offences.

Items in the flat were submitted for forensic examinations.

The defence solicitor said that a police identifcation procedure resulted in one officer being able to identify the defendant but another officer not being able to identify him.

He said apart from minor petty sessions offences, the defendant had a clear record.

Friel's solictor also said the police identity evidence had already begun to disintegrate.

District judge Barney McElholm described the explosive devices as "deadly and evil" and anyone convicted of possessing them could expect an extremely length jail sentence.

Friel was refused bail and remanded in custody.