Seven men to appear in court charged with attempted murder of police detective

Seven men will appear in court on Monday charged with the attempted murder of a senior police detective.

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell was shot several times outside a sports complex in Omagh, Co Tyrone, in February.

Mr Caldwell had been coaching a youth football match and was with his young son at the time of the attack.

The so-called New IRA claimed responsibility for the attack, with police investigating if the dissident republican group may have been assisted by criminal gangs.

King Charles III visit to Northern Ireland – Day 1
Detective Chief Superintendent John Caldwell attends a garden party at Hillsborough Castle, Co Down, during a two-day visit to Northern Ireland by the King (Brian Lawless/PA)

On Saturday evening, the PSNI said that two men aged 28, and five men aged 33, 38, 45, 47 and 72, had been charged with attempted murder.

Two of the men, aged 38 and 45, were also charged with membership of a proscribed organisation, namely the IRA.

Three of the men – aged 28, 33 and 47 – were further charged with preparation of terrorist acts.

All seven of the men charged are to appear before Dungannon Magistrates’ Court via video link on Monday.

At the end of last week 11 people were arrested in relation to the shooting of Mr Caldwell, which PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan hailed as a “significant” step in the investigation.

On Saturday two men and two women were released from police custody, before the remaining seven men were charged with attempted murder.

The Crimestoppers charity offered a reward of £150,000 for information leading to the conviction of those involved in the attack.

After spending several weeks recovering in hospital, Mr Caldwell made his first public appearance since the attempt on his life in February as he attended a garden party at Hillsborough Castle during the King’s visit to Northern Ireland.