Northern Ireland

Man accused of attempted murder of John Caldwell from well-known republican family

The court heard that Alan Lundy made no reply to the accusations after being questioned for over seven hours.

A man has appeared in court charged with the attempted murder of Detective Chief Superintendent John Caldwell
Police officer shot in Omagh A man has appeared in court charged with the attempted murder of Detective Chief Superintendent John Caldwell (Brian Lawless/PA)

A 44-year-old man charged with the attempted murder of detective chief inspector John Caldwell has been remanded in custody.

Alan Lundy, with an address at Flax Street, Belfast, appeared in Dungannon Magistrates Court on Saturday charged with attempted murder, directing terrorism and the preparation of terrorist acts.

The court heard that Lundy, who is from a well-known republican family in north Belfast, was questioned for seven hours and 44 minutes after being arrested on Thursday.

Mr Caldwell was seriously injured after he was shot several times in front of his son at a sports complex in Omagh, Co Tyrone, on February 22 2023.

The detective, who had investigated a number of high-profile murder cases, spent several weeks in intensive care.

The court heard that the prosecution was not arguing that Lundy was in or around Omagh on the evening of the attack on Mr Caldwell.

The court heard that “at no point was any explanation or comment made” when police put the accusations to Lundy.

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell was shot several times in front of his son in February 2023
Coleraine shooting PSNI Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell was shot several times in front of his son in February 2023 (David Young/PA)

The case instead relates to “his actions in the build-up” and “the chain of events” afterwards, and that he was the “conduit” between East Tyrone where the shooting took place and Belfast, where police said vehicles were sourced.

A defence solicitor for Lundy told the court that the prosecution’s evidence “is not sufficient to connect my client to the charges”.

“I would submit that police have created a narrative that’s not supported by any evidence that this court can rely on.”

Judge Michael Ranaghan said that it was a circumstantial case that could potentially involve a number of strands of evidence, including phone evidence, CCTV, police statements and “over and above that, a complete no-comment interview” with police.

Mr Lundy’s father Alan Lundy senior was murdered by loyalists on May 1, 1993.

The father-of five is believed to have been shot by a four-man UDA hit squad targeting his friend, prominent Sinn Fein politician Alex Maskey.

Mr Maskey, then a Belfast city councillor, escaped injury after taking cover in the bathroom of his house.

In court on Saturday, the defendant’s solicitor said a bail application would be made at a later date as sureties needed to be prepared.

The judge said that any bail application he would consider compliance with conditions set by the court.

When the accused was asked by the judge whether he would sign the legal aid form, he made no reply.

At one point during proceedings, the judge was alerted to disturbances at the back of the court and asked everyone in court to stand up.

Three people who did not stand up were ordered to leave the courtroom.

When they did not leave, the judge then asked that they be removed and a person was heard asking a question.

He was asked to establish his identity and at the end of proceedings, the judge asked police to inform the man to appear before his court on Monday morning.

He said if he does not apologise in court then, a warrant will be issued, the judge said.