Pipe bomb 'errand boy' Ryan Treanor who lost parts of hands in explosion jailed

Ryan Treanor.
Ryan Treanor was jailed for his role in Craigavon attack.

A pipe bomb “errand boy” who blew off half of his own hands with an explosive has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Jailing Ryan Treanor at Craigavon Crown Court, Judge Patrick Lynch KC said while the 26-year-old had been described as “an errand boy….that’s a euphemism that doesn’t sit well with the gravity of the offence."

Ordering Treanor to serve half his nine-year sentence in jail and half on licence, the judge said he accepted the defendant was “acting in instructions of other more sinister people".

“Clearly this was an internecine feud between criminal elements in the Craigavon area,” said Judge Lynch, adding that the attack was “particularly reprehensible” given the lady whose home was targeted is merely the mother of one of those criminal elements.

At an earlier hearing Treanor, from Victoria Gardens in Lurgan and who appeared on Tuesday by video link from prison, had entered a guilty plea to one count of possessing an explosive substance on 1 December 2020 with intent to endanger life.

Prosecuting counsel Robin Steer had told the court on Friday how several residents in the Enniskeen “heard a loud bang” at around 9.30pm that evening.

The resident of the property, who was at home with her grandchildren, is the mother of a career criminal who has been subjected to other bomb attacks and an attempted shooting assassination but the court also heard he doesn’t live there.

Treanor’s attack was the third time the property had been targeted.

When she looked out through the curtains she saw “a man in dark clothing, his hands badly injured, he was focused on his hands and he was shouting for an ambulance".

When the police arrived at the scene, Treanor told them “he had lifted something plastic and it exploded” but they also noticed the “partial remains of a latex glove stuck to his wrist".

Mr Steer said crime scene investigators found other parts of “blood stained gloves” and a blood stained lighter which had been blown several feet away and that Treanor’s DNA was found on the items.

An Ammunition Technical Officer was also called to the scene after crime scene investigators found the partially exploded pipe bomb and between the wounds to Treanor’s hands, coupled with the wound to his chest, he opined that it was “consistent with someone holding the bomb when it exploded”.

Arrested and interviewed after he was taken to hospital, Treanor refused to answer police questions.

In court on Tuesday, Judge Lynch said it was clear the device “detonated immediately” after Treanor had lit the fuse and that it exploded not fully but enough to blow off the end caps.

Treanor, said the judge, has “professed total amnesia” about events leading up to the incident which left him with “life changing but not life threatening injuries”.

Judge Lynch told the court, however, he approached those claims with “extreme scepticism” because the alleged amnesia “ensures that he doesn’t name the others involved or to give out any information that may identify them or their associates”.

Imposing the nine-year sentence, he told Treanor if he had taken the case to trial he would have faced a 12-year sentence.

Detective Sergeant Best said: “Today’s sentencing is the result of a complex investigation by officers from the Police Service's Criminal Investigation Department into an explosion in Craigavon on 1st December 2020. It should send a clear message to those involved in violence - we will vigorously pursue those responsible to bring them before the courts to face the consequences of their actions.

“We will continue to combat the threat posed by those who plan to use violence to further their agendas.  We remain committed to making Northern Ireland safer for everyone.”

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