The recent arrest and detention of Alan Lundy on the 14th July 2012 in relation to events in Ardoyne has raised serious concerns in the ILDC over the actions and intentions of the PSNI and the PPS. Alan Lundy was formally charged the following day in relation to allegations of disorder occurring on the 12th July 2012 and more concerningly in relation to a charge that dates back to the 12th July 2005.
In respect of the 2012 charge, there appears no other substantive evidence submitted other than the word of a police officer that Mr Lundy, whilst stewarding at the GARC march and wearing an illuminous steward’s bib, threw an item at the PSNI lines at Brompton Park/Crumlin road in the aftermath of the GARC march on the afternoon of the 12th July. This unnamed officer states that they were in possession of a camera for evidence gathering purposes but failed, for whatever reason, to take a picture of Mr Lundy throwing the object. Moreover, there were also a number of ‘evidence gathering’ units from the PSNI in the local vicinity. One PSNI armoured landrover was parked at the top of Brompton Park with its outboard camera focused on Brompton Park at the Crumlin Road junction with a clear view of the area in question. The PSNI have not submitted evidence from this evidential source. Likewise footage from the PSNI helicopter/s which were present throughout the entire day, has not been presented in respect of this charge.
It is also a matter of record that the ILDC observers were on the ground at that precise time and place on that day, and have subsequently reported that they did not see such an occurrance. Rather the ILDC observers have stated unreservedly that the did not see any GARC steward throw any item towards PSNI lines on that day, on the contrary the stewards were seen in a number of instances reprimanding and stopping those throwing objects at both the PSNI and the Woodvale/Twaddell protest, and assisting the participants in the GARC march to safety from objects being thrown from the Twaddell/Woodvale area.
Mr Lundy has subsequently been refused both Magistrates Court bail and High Court bail in respect of these charges. Magistrates Court Bail was refused on the grounds that Mr Lundy was likely to reoffend, and would fail to adhere to any bail conditions. Meanwhile the PSNI objected strenuously to High Court bail again stating they believed he would reoffend. However, it was disclosed that the information regarding the 2005 allegations was alleged to have come to light after an audit by the PSNI on the 10th July this year in respect of the events in 2005 which highlighted Mr Lundy’s alleged attack on British army lines at a similar parade.
Nonetheless, the raising of charges which date back some considerable time raise a number of serious questions, in regard to Alan Lundy’s case. Were the matters ‘sat on’ from 2005 by the PSNI and put in storage to be used in the future if necessary? Why were the allegations not put to Mr Lundy in the aftermath of the 2005 incident when others were charged in relation to the same/similar incidents occuring at that parade? Were such charges used to bolster a weak evidential case against Mr Lundy and keep him in custody?
The disclosure of a number of relevant documents by the PSNI in this case is essential in ensuring that Mr Lundy gets a fair trial, such documents ascertaining when the photos alleging the offence were taken, by whom, why they were not acted on at the time, and disclosure of the various paper trails tracing the origin, storage and production of such photographs, thus ensuring an open and transparent process which would determine that an abuse of process has not occurred.
However, the PSNI has shown to be suspect in its evidential substance and somewhat disingenuous in the dissemination of the information that forms the basis of the case, and must be tested to the fullest extent. Pressure must be laid on the authorities to produce this material in a reasonable timeframe.