A MAN accused of trying to murder police officers has succeeded in a legal challenge to being found guilty of aggression towards a prison warder.
Harry Fitzsimons issued proceedings over the finding that he flouted discipline at Maghaberry Gaol by allegedly shouting at the officer: “I’ll make sure you will never work on these landings again.” The 47-year-old remand inmate sought a judicial review after the Prison Service refused to accept a watchdog recommendation that the adjudication should be removed from his record. At the High Court yesterday it was confirmed that the authorities have now decided to quash the finding.
Counsel for the Prison Service accepted the legal action was the “catalyst” for their reconsideration. Withdrawing the challenge by consent, Mr Justice Weir awarded costs in favour of Mr Fitzsimions. The prisoner, of no fixed address, is currently on remand charged in connection with a gun attack on an RUC/PSNI convoy in North Belfast’s Ardoyne area in December 2013. He is accused of the attempted murder of police officers and membership of a proscribed organisation – namely the IRA. Fitzsimons faces a further charge of conspiring with co-accused Colin Duffy (47) and 53-year-old Alex McCrory, of Sliabh Dubh View in Belfast, to murder members of the security forces. The trio were arrested following a surveillance operation carried out close to Duffy’s Forest Glade home in Lurgan a day after the shooting incident. Prosecutors claim the three men were secretly recorded discussing the attack and future terrorist operations. Fitzsiomons has been interned on remand ( awaiting a decision on whether he is to stand trial for the alleged offences.
With many thanks for the origional story, The Irish News.