Lurgan republican freed on bail


A leading republican whose arrest led to rioting in Lurgan and Armagh on Tuesday night was freed on bail at the High Court in Belfast yesterday. Mr Colin Duffy (30) who appeared in court with his arm in a sling, had been remanded in custody on a charge of causing grievous bodily harm to a policeman. Earlier this year charges against him of murdering two RUC constables in Lurgan were dropped and, before that, he had been cleared on appeal of murdering a former UDR sergeant.

A Crown lawyer said Mr Duffy was a passenger in a car stopped by a police patrol in Lurgan. "The occupants were asked to get out and, as Duffy did so, he allegedly punched the officer four times in the face. The officer was dragged into the car and attacked by a man and a woman while allegedly held by Duffy. The officer suffered serious injuries to his face." Mr Mark Mulholland, for Mr Duffy, said he had consistently alleged that he himself had been seriously assaulted and added: "The charge will be strenuously contested." Mr Justice Pringle said he did not think there was a risk of a recurrence sufficient to deny bail and he directed Mr Duffy's release on his own bail of £250 with two sureties of £500 each.