Derry Judge grants anonymity in court case because of risk of RAAD attack

In what is believed to be the first case of its kind a District Judge imposed an anonymity order on the case involving three men for non drugs related offences.
District Judge Barney McElholm in the past has imposed anonymity orders on cases where people have been charged with drug related offences.
He did so due to the activities of RAAD, the republican vigilante group who had shot numerous people claiming they were involved in the drugs trade.
At yesterdays sitting of Derry Magistrate’s Court just before a preliminary enquiry involving three men Judge McElholm said he was imposing an anonymity order because one of the men could result in the other two coming to the ‘attention of elements in this city who have shown in the past they are prepared to maim and kill.’
One of the three was charged with obstructing a police officer on October 17 last.
The second was charged with between October 17 and 24 perverting the course of justice by falsely identifying someone to the police.
The third man was charged with perverting the course of justice by falsely claiming he was someone who had been asked to produce their driving documents on October 24.
It was accepted there was a case to answer and the three said they did not wish to call any witnesses or make any statement at this stage.
They were returned for trial to a date later this month.
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