MP claims Ismay accused bail checks ‘stopped over complaints’

A DUP MP has claimed that police chiefs told officers to stop conducting bail checks on the man accused of murdering prison officer Adrian Ismay because of complaints from his solicitor.

Gavin Robinson made the claim during a parliamentary debate about securing compensation for victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism.

Mr Ismay died as a result of injuries sustained in a dissident republican attack, when a bomb exploded beneath his van in east Belfast in March.

West Belfast man Christopher Alphonsos Robinson, from Aspen Park in Dunmurry, has been charged with the prison officer’s murder.

During Tuesday’s debate, Mr Robinson claimed he had received information that “PSNI chiefs sent an email to their officers not to conduct bail checks”.

The reason, he further alleged, was “because it was generating far too many complaints from his solicitor and offending his sensitivities - offending the sensitivities of a man who is alleged to be the murderer of my constituent”.

In a statement, a PSNI spokesman said: “If a person is required to wear an electronic tag as part of their bail conditions, there is no reason for police to duplicate this monitoring unless otherwise requested or directed by the investigating officer or senior police officer or the court.

“Police will continue to rigorously, but impartially, enforce all bail conditions set by the courts and we will not hesitate to arrest those who breach their bail conditions so they can be brought back before the court, to ensure that the court has all the necessary information to allow it to decide if continuing bail is appropriate or to remand in custody if necessary.”