Man In Court Over NI Prison Officer Murder

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Man Charged With NI Prison Officer Murder

A 36-year-old man has appeared in court in connection with the murder of prison officer David Black.

The father-of-two, from Cookstown, Co Tyrone, was shot on a motorway in Co Armagh after a Toyota pulled alongside him at high speed while he drove to work at the high security Maghaberry jail in Co Antrim.

Damien Joseph McLaughlin, from Kilmascally Road in Dungannon, is accused of obtaining the Toyota Camry which was later used in the murder of Mr Black.

McLaughlin is alleged to have moved the vehicle from Carrigallen, Co Leitrim, in the Irish Republic, to Northern Ireland.

Mr Black, 52, was shot as he drove to work on November 1.

He was the first prison officer to be murdered in Northern Ireland for 20 years.

A PSNI officer told Lisburn Magistrates' Court that police in the Republic had CCTV footage to support a terrorism charge and place McLaughlin in Carrigallen on October 31.

However, he admitted it still needed to be obtained from the Garda Siochana - the Republic's police force - and would be sent to Northern Ireland as soon as possible.

McLoughlin was remanded in custody to reappear via video-link at Craigavon Magistrates' Court on January 4.

In a separate court appearance in the Irish Republic, a 44-year-old Dublin man appeared before the Special Criminal Court in the city in connection with the killing.

Vincent Banks, of Smithfield Gate apartments, is accused of withholding information in relation to Mr Black's murder, and has also been charged with being a member of banned dissident republican group, the IRA.

He was remanded in custody until Friday when a bail application will be heard.

Meanwhile, a 31-year-old woman arrested with Banks in Dublin was released without charge.


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