Northern Ireland

PSNI blamed after object found under man's car

The suspicious object found under Sean Pearson's car
The suspicious object found under Sean Pearson's car

Solicitors for a Co Tyrone republican have lodged a complaint with the Police Ombudsman after a suspected tracking device was found under his car.

Sean Pearson (26), a member of Republican Sinn Féin, claims the suspicious box type object was fixed to the bottom of his car by two magnets and when later opened was found to be empty.

The Omagh man said his car was seized by the PSNI earlier this month and that he was questioned by police.

Mr Pearson added that days before the device was discovered a neighbour disturbed a man who was acting suspiciously near his car.

His solicitor Owen Beattie, of KRW Law, said: “We do not know who planted this device.

“We have lodged complaints with the Police Ombudsman and the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which investigates complaints about the activities of intelligence agencies.

A spokesman for the PSNI said: "Police do not comment on specific operational matters. No inference should be drawn from this. If anyone has any information or property it should be made available to police for immediate investigation."

The find came after it was reported that two PSNI officers told a court they had received confidential briefings from members of C3, which is formerly known as Special Branch, about Mr Pearson and his father.

The Omagh man was later convicted of disorderly behaviour and resisting a police officer in the execution of his duty.

He also has a previous conviction linked to an unnotified Republican Sinn Féin parade in Lurgan in 2018.

The suspected tracking device
The suspected tracking device