31/03/2011

Man Charged With Belfast Bomb Hoax

A 39-year-old man has appeared in Belfast Magistrates Court (pictured) on Thursday charged with causing a hoax bomb alert in Belfast this week.

Gerard Chapman, from Antigua Street, is also charged with claiming to belong to the Continuity IRA.

Mr Chapman was remanded in custody and will appear in court again at a later date.

A bomb warning phone call was made to the Samaritans on Monday night which resulted in 20 families being evacuated from their homes and serious disruption in the Oldpark area.

A number of controlled explosions were carried out in the area by the army before the PSNI declared the bomb threat a hoax.
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The Oldpark Road was initially closed between Manor Street and Oldpark Avenue and Hillview Road and Rosapenna Street were also closed from the Roseleigh Street junction as the claims were investigated.

Facilities were provided at Ardoyne Community Centre with the assistance of community groups and partner agencies including Belfast Resilience Forum.

At the time the PSNI said: "We are mindful of the disruption the alert is causing to local people and commuters.

"Police must protect the community and every decision we take is for the welfare of the community - however the disruption is caused by those who make these claims and cause such distress in our community."

See: North Belfast Bomb Alert Follows Shooting

(JG/BMcC)

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