Northern Ireland

Alleged dissident republican returned to custody after bail breach

Gary Hayden was refused bail
Gary Hayden was said to have breached bail

A man awaiting trial on matters uncovered during an undercover PSNI/MI5 sting, has been returned to custody after breaching bail conditions.

Gary Hayden (51) from Tyrconnell Street, Derry is charged with belonging to the IRA, directing terrorism and preparation for terrorist acts.

Offending allegedly occurred between February and July 2020 and the case revolves around covertly recorded meetings held in a Co Tyrone house.

The case is currently before Laganside Crown Court awaiting trial.

Hayden had been released on bail, however he was brought before Dungannon Magistrates Court following arrest when he refused to provide the access code for a phone and used applications with end-to-end encryptions.

A detective constable explained two police officers carried out a stop-and-search on Hayden who was a passenger in a car on February 8.

A phone was found in his pocket which he confirmed was registered with police.

He was informed the phone would be checked and asked for the access code.

Hayden took the phone from the officer and appeared to shield the screen before typing something and passing it back to the officer unlocked, the court heard.

“On examination the officer noted WhatsApp on the device. Hayden asked what the officer was looking for in the phone who informed him it was in terms of bail.”

The phone was returned to Hayden who left the scene.

The officers carried out further enquiries and discovered the bail terms required Hayden to provide the access code which he had not done nor was he to use encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp.

Hayden was arrested at his home where the phone was seized and is currently being examined.

District Judge Michael Ranaghan concluded bail should be denied.