Page last updated at 13:14 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Three in court on terrorist-related charges

Hollymount Park attack
The windows of a car were smashed during the incident

Three men appeared in court on Monday charged in relation to an attack on a house in Londonderry last week.

Christopher David Anthony Boast, 20, from Robert Street in Derry, is accused of owning items for use in terrorism.

Mr Boast, Raymond Whitehouse, 43, from Thornlea Gardens, and his son Jordan, 19, were also charged with offences including making threats to kill and possession of an offensive weapon.

The case was adjourned and the trio were remanded in custody.

The charges relate to an incident in Hollymount Park on Friday during which the windows of a house and a car were smashed.

The three are also charged with aggravated burglary, criminal damage, and possession of an offensive weapon.

Masked

Mr Boast is also charged with possessing ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

The trio appeared at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Monday wearing police issue tracksuits.

Heavily-armed police officers were both inside and outside the court.

A detective sergeant told the court that four masked men forced their way into the home of Sean Johnston at Hollymount Park at about 0300 GMT on Friday.

Mr Johnston was shot at the same house in August, by a gang believed to be dissident republicans.

The court heard the gang shouted at Mr Johnston's mother that they were going to find her son and kill him.

Chased

He said the gang then left the house, but Mr Johnston, who was hiding in the attic, had phoned the police.

The police arrived and chased the gang along Corrody Road.

They arrested three men after their car crashed at Kildoag Road. A fourth escaped across fields.

The court also heard that police searched Mr Boast's grandmother's home in Gelvin Grange, and found ammunition, balaclavas, and gloves.

The police officer said there had been 17 shooting incidents in Derry so far this year, 11 of which had been attributed to Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) and four to the INLA.

He said the police believed there was dual membership between RAAD and the INLA.

He also said Jordan Whitehouse had been arrested on suspicion of the shooting of Sean Johnston.

District Judge Amanda Henderson said the incident was "highly serious".

They were remanded in custody, to appear in court again via videolink next month.



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