Harbinson denied bail and may face new charge

Pacemaker Press 22/8/2013  
Stoneyford loyalist Mark Harbinson (46) arrives at Lisburn court on thursday on a breach,  Mr Harbinson  was jailed for three and a half years for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl and ordered to serve a further three and a half years on licence after his release.
Pic Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Press 22/8/2013 Stoneyford loyalist Mark Harbinson (46) arrives at Lisburn court on thursday on a breach, Mr Harbinson was jailed for three and a half years for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl and ordered to serve a further three and a half years on licence after his release. Pic Pacemaker Press

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Sex offender Mark Harbinson may be charged with breaching his Sexual Offences Prevention Order, a court heard last Friday.

Harbinson (39), of Sheepwalk Road, Lisburn is currently in custody accused of having a semi-automatic 9mm pistol with 28 rounds of ammunition and a silencer.

But at Craigavon Magistrates Court last Friday it was claimed that two mobile phones, one with internet access, were found during a search of his home.

This, a detective constable, said, might be in breach of his SOPO and details had been passed on to the public prosecution service.

A bail application was made on Harbinson’s behalf at last Friday’s court and, opposing the application, a detective constable outlined the background to the case.

He said that on Monday, December 21, last year a search was carried out at the defendant’s home, which is in a rural location, and in a two-storey barn between the ceiling on the ground floor and the floor on the next storey a biscuit tin was found.

The court heard it contained the weapon and a thumb print belonging to Harbinson was found on the tin. Harbinson was not present.

Later that evening police went to stop a vehicle but it drove off and was pursued, with speeds reaching over 100mph, forcing a number of drivers off the road.

They believed Harbinson was driving and had abandoned the car and fled across fields.

Police went to his house the next day and he still could not be located.

He was later discovered to be at an address in Cumbria but when local police went tothe address he had fled, leaving behind a substantial amount of money, clothing anddocumentation.

Six hours later he was found at the side of a road.

Police objected to bail because of risk of flight.

Harbinson, it was said, had fled police on two occasions and it was believed he travelled through the Republic of Ireland.

Harbinson’s solicitor said a decision in the case had been expected on July 6 but there was no decision and there was no mention of a preliminary enquiry, so there was going to be further considerable delay.

A public prosecutor said that there was a second suspect, a relative of the defendant.

The detective constable said that during the search of Harbinson’s home two mobilephones were found, one with internet access, which could be in breach of his SOPO.

This had been passed on to the PPS.

Deputy District Judge Neil Rafferty said the issue in the case was delay and underhuman rights legislation a defendant was given an expectation of a trial in a reasonable time unless there were complex forensics and the like.

He said Harbinson had been on remand for six months and he did not regard that time as undue delay in this case.

Refusing the bail application he said Harbinson had the right to apply to the HighCourt.

Harbinson was remanded in custody to appear on videolink at Lisburn Magistrates Court on August 1.