Harbinson accused of painting kerbs

Mark Harbinson
Mark Harbinson

Prominent loyalist and convicted sex offender Mark Harbinson has been accused of causing criminal damage to road signs by painting them red, white and blue.

Harbinson, 48, of Sheepwalk Road, Lisburn, did not attend the hearing at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court on Monday where his solicitor Aiden Carlin revealed he had asked the prosecution to review their decision to prosecute him.

Harbinson, currently in custody accused of possessing a pistol and ammunition, now faces two charges of causing criminal damage to road signs belonging to Transport NI on dates between September 9-15 last year.

A prosecuting lawyer confirmed the PPS had received a letter from the defence and asked for the case to be adjourned to allow time for a review to be conducted.

Granting legal aid, District Judge Peter King relisted the case on June 6.

Earlier this year, Harbinson appeared in court accused of having a semi automatic pistol, 28 rounds of ammunition and a silencer with intent to endangering life.

Police discovered the weapon during searches of his home and outbuilding on December 21, last year.

On that day, armed response attempted to stop a car belonging to him on country roads between Moira and Lisburn, the court heard at a hearing earlier this year.

The pursuit reached speeds of more than 100mph, with the vehicle forcing other motorists off the road, according to the prosecution.

Harbinson later denied being behind the wheel, claiming he had lent his car to a diesel fitter who he declined to identify.

It was also alleged that on December 22 he was driven across the border after someone brought him his passport clothes and up to £5,000 in cash

He travelled to England and the police swooped on a house in Cumbria, and found him 12 miles away.

During questioning he denied knowing anything about the gun and ammunition and claimed that he left Northern Ireland out of panic.

At that time he told police he had moved away from bands and the loyal orders. It emerged at a previous hearing, when questioned about a banner police found during a search, Harbinson had bought it as a collector’s item.