Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 13:39 UK

Man jailed over Bobby Tohill abduction

court generic

A third member of a Provisional IRA gang has been jailed for abducting and assaulting dissident republican Bobby Tohill in 2004.

Harry Fitzsimmons, 42, originally from Spamount Street in north Belfast, was sentenced to eight years.

Fitzsimmons, was part of a gang who abducted Mr Tohill from a city centre bar and bundled him into a van. Police intercepted the van near Castle Street.

A fourth member of the gang, Liam Rainey is at large.

Belfast Crown Court was told the attack in February 2004 was meant as a message to Tohill not to oppose the then fledgling peace process.

Jailing Fitzsimmons for what he described as a violent preplanned attack, Belfast Crown Court judge Lord Justice Girvan said it was "ironic" the Provisionals should, in the so-called interests of peace, use violence and intimidation to secure their ends.

Mr Justice Girvan said while times may have changed politically that in itself did not pardon past crimes and that the duty of the courts remained the same, to impose the appropriate sentence for each crime.



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