Page last updated at 17:59 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Loyalists' sentences are reviewed

Laganside Courts Complex
The case was heard at Belfast Crown Court last month

Two loyalists who used a police database to gather information on nationalists have had their sentences referred to the Court of Appeal.

Aaron Hill of Mainebank, Randalstown, and Darren Richardson of Moneynick Road, Randalstown, were given suspended sentences at Belfast Crown Court last month.

Both were members of a flute band and had gathered details of the names and addresses of 62 nationalists in the Randalstown area.

The case was referred to the Attorney General who said if the Court of Appeal finds the sentences unduly lenient it has the power to increase them.

SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone has welcomed the move.

He said:"In light of the seriousness of the offences and the ongoing fear caused to many innocent people at the fact that their details were in the possession of paramilitaries, my constituents and I have shared a deep concern at the levity of sentence in both cases.

"In the interest of justice and that the sentence should reflect the gravity of these particular offences; I am delighted that the Attorney has taken action to investigate this disturbing case."

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