A 24-year-old Derry man has been accused of going to great lengths to make a hoax bomb that was placed on a Derry street over the weekend.
Bernard Cooke, 24, of Melrose Terrace in the Waterside area of Derry, is charged with communicating false information to make police or others believe a bomb was present at Clooney Terrace.
He is further charged with placing an article at Clooney Terrace to cause a bomb hoax.
The defendant had been serving a period of time on license for a previous conviction.
A police officer said the charges relate to an alleged offence on Friday, July 14, when a male contacted the police to tell them an explosive device had been left at Clooney Terrace.
When asked to identify himself, the caller provided a name, and then terminated the call.
Police attended the scene at Clooney Terrace where a device was discovered, however, it was later declared an ‘elaborate hoax’.
They found a metal pipe with end caps and a shoe lace protruding from one end ‘resembling a fuse’.
Although it was not viable, there were screws and nails inside it, the officer explained.
Police were able to identify the owner of the phone from which the hoax call was made, and subsequently attended the address of a 58-year-old male.
He told police he had not made the calls, but was in the company of Bernard Cooke.
Both men were arrested, and during police interview the 58-year-old said he loaned the phone to Cooke, who left for a while before returning.
Police attended the Simon Community, which is fitted with CCTV, and were able to view footage that showed the 24-year-old leaving with a bag containing an object.
Fifteen minutes later an individual can be seen at Clooney Terrace where an item is left on the ground.
Police believe the individual was Cooke, however when interviewed, the defendant denied the charges, before going on to give a ‘no comment’ interview.
The police officer said the motive for the alleged offence was ‘less than clear’, but it is believed Cooke had a dispute with an individual who often resides at a flat close to where the device was left.
Police objected to bail due to concerns about further offending and fears that he would ‘reignite issues with this other male’.
The officer was also concerned about the lengths the defendant allegedly went to in order to prepare the device.
Defence solicitor Keith Kyle said his client denied all knowledge of the incident at the start of police interviews, before choosing to make no further comment.
Deputy District Judge Liam McStay said he was not satisfied that conditions would alleviate the risk, and believed a suitable address outside the city had to be found.
Bail was refused and the case taken to August 10 by way of video link.
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.