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'Contempt' policeman fails in bid to appeal to Supreme Court

Policeman, Thomas Anthony Carlin (43) is serving a three-month prison sentence imposed for his approach to Lord Justice Gillen

A SERVING policeman jailed for trying to arrest one of Northern Ireland's most senior judges has been denied authorisation to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Thomas Anthony Carlin failed to secure leave to challenge his conviction because he was held to have established no arguable legal grounds with a reasonable prospect of success.

However, his lawyers are now set to make a direct request to the Supreme Court for an urgent hearing.

The 43-year-old remains in custody serving a three-month prison sentence imposed for his approach to Lord Justice Gillen.

Last week he was found guilty of contempt of court in proceedings brought against him by the Attorney General.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan and Mr Justice Horner held that he had acted with premeditation and determination.

At that stage he was told that if he seeks to apologise after 28 days the rest of his sentence will be set aside.

But the case then took a new twist when it emerged that the policeman intended to challenge the conviction instructing Belfast law firm Madden and Finucane.

An application for leave to appeal was mounted at the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast.

However, Sir Declan held yesterday that no arguable grounds had been established.

Despite the setback, he can still try to take his case to the UK's highest court.

Mr Carlin's actions and outburst came at the end of a ruling in an ongoing house repossession case last month.

He had been representing himself in the legal battle with Santander bank over claims that he had failed to make mortage payments on a property in Co Antrim.

At the end of that High Court hearing he got up and moved towards the bench, holding aloft what appeared to be a PSNI warrant card.

He claimed he was going to arrest Lord Justice Gillen, before security and court staff intervened.

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