Northern Ireland news

Order banning identification of three men from same family accused of joint charges is removed by judge

The judge yesterday ruled the threshold had not met and removed the order

AN interim order banning identification of three men from the same family accused of joint charges, has been removed following a press challenge.

Mark Girvan (47), his father Kevin (84) and son Anthony (24) - all with addresses at Limehill Road, Pomeroy - are charged in relation to a police search of premises on September 26 2017.

Mark Girvan is accused of several counts of drugs possession, including cocaine and cannabis and it is alleged he was found with a pump action shotgun - a .22 Anschitz rifle and ammunition without holding a firearm certificate.

He is also accused of dishonestly using electricity over two years.

His son, Anthony Girvan is accused of cannabis and cocaine possession, while Kevin Girvan faces a single count of failing to properly store a firearm.

Dungannon Magistrates Court previously heard a defence barrister apply for anonymity on the grounds Mark Girvan believed he was under threat from "affiliated organisations".

It was claimed by default, naming the two co-accused would lead to him being identified and put his life at risk.

An interim order was imposed while press submitted a challenge, stipulating any potential threat should be verified by PSNI as real and immediate.

The court heard yesterday that following police assessment, there was no threat or risk to the level stated.

District Judge John Meehan ruled the threshold was not met and acceded to the press challenge to remove the order forthwith.

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