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Woman guilty of terror offences and trying to murder police officer

Belfast woman Christine Connor, 35, has today been found guilty of attempting to murder a police officer in the Crumlin Road area of Belfast on May 28, 2013, as well as a number of terrorism and other offences during a re-trial at Belfast Crown Court.

She first stood trial and subsequently pleaded guilty in May 2017 when she also admitted possessing explosives and causing explosions with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property on May 16 and May 28, as well as preparation of terrorist acts between February 1, 2013 and May 30, 2013.

A co-defendant, who also jointly faced five charges including attempted murder and possessing explosives and causing explosions with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property on May 16 and May 28, is now deceased.

Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell, of Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Serious Crime Branch, said: “This has been a hugely complex and unusual case spanning over seven years and involving UK police services working together to gather evidence in order to place Christine Connor before the Courts.

“After pleading guilty to the offences in 2017 she was convicted, however her conviction was overturned on appeal and a re-trial was ordered.

“Today she has been found guilty of the attempted murder of a police officer and a range of other offences and she will be sentenced next month.

“This was an attack on police officers, who were carrying out their role of protecting communities. I would like to pay particular thanks to them. This was a traumatic experience for them and I acknowledge that as victims they have waited a very long time for today’s outcome.

“Today’s conviction is the result of excellent joint working between the PSNI and West Mercia Police alongside the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and we will now await the sentencing.”

Head of Counter Terrorism Policing West Midlands CTU Detective Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell said: “We have continued to work closely with the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch and West Mercia Police over a number of years during this protracted investigation, the initial trial and the retrial.

“Today’s fantastic result is testament to the concerted efforts of all forces, together with the national counter terrorism network, to thwart attacks and bring individuals to justice."

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