Detectives from PSNI’s Terrorism Investigation Unit have welcomed the sentencing of John Paul Magee at Belfast Crown Court earlier today, Friday 12 April for possession of explosives in suspicious circumstances.
The 39 year old from the Ardoyne area of North Belfast pled guilty to the offences in February this year and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.
Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Griffin from PSNI’s Terrorism Investigation Unit said: “Following a number of searches carried out in the Ardoyne area back in 2009, an improvised explosive device was located in a wheelie bin at the rear of a vacant property on Millbank Park, along with other items which I believe were intended to be turned into a further explosive device at a later date.
“A robust investigation followed and linked these items to John Paul Magee.
“The materials which Mr Magee possessed would likely have been used to cause serious harm and I welcome today’s conviction. This explosive device was left in a wheelie bin at the back of an empty house showing a complete disregard for the safety of local residents. The device could have exploded in the residential area or been found by a young child.
“John Paul Magee carried out these actions almost 10 years ago yet he was still convicted and sentenced today. We are determined to bring people intent on causing harm within our communities before the courts, regardless of how long it takes. Our commitment and dedication to keeping people safe does not waiver.
“The overwhelming majority of people in these communities are thankful that such items have been prevented from causing harm. We will continue to work with communities to reduce the threat posed by those involved in such activity and would ask people to contact police on 101 if they have any information which could assist us. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”