Loyalist Harbinson has his tag and curfew restrictions relaxed

Mark Harbinson
Mark Harbinson

Loyalist Mark Harbinson succeeded yesterday in having tag and curfew conditions removed, but only with the added restriction of signing for bail daily instead of three times a week.

The bail conditions of 50-year-old Harbinson were ‘relaxed’ after his trial on firearms offences was adjourned until the end of January.

He was due to go on trial earlier this month for possession of a 9mm Makarov type pistol, a silencer and 28 rounds of 9mm ammunition found in a biscuit tin, at his Sheepwalk Road near Lisburn on December 21, 2015.

Crown barrister David Russell told Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland it was still felt bail conditions were necessary to deal with the “risk of flight”. However, it was accepted that the conditions could be looked at again because of further delays in the case.

Defence barrister Tom McCreanor, who initially applied for both the 11pm curfew and tagging conditions to be scraped, claimed Harbinson has had ample opportunity in the last 16 months to abscond.

He added that Harbinson wanted “to be at liberty” to visit friends, or go to functions anywhere in Northern Ireland, instead of having to return at specific times.

Judge McFarland said that if he was to remove the main condition of curfew, he would want Harbinson to be signing at a police station on a daily basis, which he initially was required to do.

Following a consultation, Mr McCreanor said that the ‘seven-day requirement’ was Harbinson’s preferred option.