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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 October, 2004, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Protection move after court plea
Willie Frazer
The judge said Mr Frazer was at "significant" risk
The head of a terrorist victims' group has won a court battle to be admitted to the Key Persons Protection Scheme.

Willie Frazer of Fair (Families Acting for Innocent Relatives) had brought the case after being turned down last year.

In a reserved judgement, Mr Justice Weatherup said the secretary of state's approach to the application was flawed.

The judge said the risk to Mr Frazer was "significant". The High Court heard Mr Frazer had received death threats from republican paramilitaries.

Immediate threat

It also heard that police had insisted on Mr Frazer informing them when he goes into South Armagh so they can provide extra forces to protect him.

The judge said that if officials had recognised that a real and immediate threat existed then the outcome might have been different.

However, he refused permission for a legal challenge to a decision not to issue him with a firearms certificate for a gun to protect himself.

The court heard that a certificate had been refused because of police intelligence that Mr Frazer had associated with paramilitaries.

Mr Justice Weatherup said there was no basis for overturning the decision in the light of the information available.

The judge added: "I am satisfied that the minister was entitled to conclude that the applicant was unfitted to hold a firearms certificate by reason of the police intelligence concerning paramilitary associations."

'Risk to life'

Meanwhile, in a separate case, the High Court has overturned a decision not to provide a former Sinn Fein mayor of Limavady with home protection.

Anne Brolly, who was Mayor of Limavady until last June, and her husband Francis, who is also a Sinn Fein member of the council, will now be entitled to government funding to secure their home.

They were told by police in April 2002,of death threats by the loyalist paramilitary Red Hand Defenders.

The secretary of state, following advice from the chief constable, informed the couple last March that they were not considered to be under a serious or significant threat and therefore protection was not warranted.

They applied for a judicial review of the decision and it was upheld by Mr Justice Weatherup on Wednesday.

He said police had assessed the risk to the couple as "moderate" but as that indicated a potential for them to be singled out for attack the state was required to take reasonable steps in response.

The judge said the applicants faced "a real and immediate risk to life".


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