Ward sent for trial on Northern Bank robbery charges

RTÉ reports that in Belfast Magistrates Court today 25 year-old Chris Ward, who following the dropping of the cases against two other suspects in January this year is the only person to be charged in connection with the Northern Bank robbery that took place in December 2004, was sent for trial on those charges. No date has yet been set for the trial, although the report suggests it will take place early next year.. and there’s still little sign of the £26.5million.. From the RTÉ report

His solicitor told Belfast Magistrates Court that his client wished to reiterate his innocence and “that he is a victim of this crime”. The accused was allowed out on continuing bail but barred from entering premsies owned by the Northern Bank.

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  • Ato Chiffre

    Is that some sort of joke – as if, in the circumstances, he would be heading off to his local branch of the Northern Bank to cash a cheque.

    As for the 26 million, one can only imagine that that which was not laundered has been incinerated.

  • Dewi

    Do u know the precise charge yet Pete ?

  • smcgiff

    If he qualifies for free legal aid he should be acquitted! 🙂

  • Pete Baker

    Ato

    Not a joke.

    The original bail conditions may, however, have been altered since the date of this post.

    Dewi

    Some detail on the original charges here..

    So far the latest update is restricted to the RTÉ report.

  • Sean

    lets start a pool

    I bet just after the 3rd anniversary and while every one is in the throws of the christmas reatail spree the case is quietly dropped for lack of evidence

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    A tiny country the size of Ireland, CCTV of the vehicle involved, a gigantic quantity of cash and nearly three years to investigate. And the PSNI with full co-operation from the gardai come up with one tiny bit-player suspect.
    If your house gets burgled tonight, who you gonna call?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Innocent till proven guilty – except on Slugger O’Toole.

  • joeCanuck

    Guilty of what Oilibhear?

  • Fraggle

    Anyone been able to explain the cash found in the PSNI recreation centre yet?

  • OILIBHEAR Chromaill

    Exactly my point Joe.

    Except if you read some of the posts here, you’d think that the verdict had already been delivered by a jury.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Come now, folks… the PSNI, after the aforementioned three years, needs *SOMETHING* bloody, metaphorically speaking, to mount on the ramparts. Not to sound cynical, but the police likely provide more comfort from the seeming of doing something than the actual doing of something. The PSNI, of late, don’t even do a good job of seeming, if one believes the papers, and is further hamstrung by political prosecutors on those occasions when they do more than politically police.

    Gotta make it look like they’ve dome something after all this time…

    As a further curiousity, what is the time limit, if any, on a prosecution? Could it be that they’re facing a deadline and had to either charge or give up?

  • Cromwell

    Oilibhear,

    Could you point me to any of the above posts & tell me where anyone convicted him guilty?
    The lady protests too much! Get the defence in before the attack!

    Sure he only got charged in the first place “cos I was wearin a Seltick tap!”

  • joeCanuck

    Wrong target Dread. The police don’t make the decision on whether or not to prosecute.

  • Fraggle,

    The thing about this case is that nothing about it has been explained yet. But I have no doubt the questions will just keep accumulating.

  • Reader

    Fraggle: Anyone been able to explain the cash found in the PSNI recreation centre yet?
    Easy – anyone could have done it. Read the website, and come up with a few plans:
    http://www.newforge.com/
    Become a house member yourself, even.

  • lib2016

    Doesn’t seem to mention the armed guards on duty outside at the time when the RUC stash was found. Probably just an oversight.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    JoeCanuck: “Wrong target Dread. The police don’t make the decision on whether or not to prosecute. ”

    A good point… too bad I never said the police get to make the decision on whether or not to prosecute. Re-read the post for comprehension this time, rather than the opportunity to score cheap points.

    The PSNI looks less effective as a result of political proseuctors. You infer what was not implied, seeking to score a cheap point, rather than further the conversation. As a result of the prosecutors playing politics, the PSNI end up appearing even less effective than they are.

  • Reader

    lib2016: Doesn’t seem to mention the armed guards on duty outside at the time when the RUC stash was found. Probably just an oversight.
    Why is that meant to be a problem? How many people do they search during a match, or a dinner dance?

  • joeCanuck

    I’m sorry Dread but I don’t understand what you are trying to say.
    Your initial post was, to me, a clear rant against the police, even to the extent that you said “further hamstrung..”.
    As to why you should think I have any desire to score cheap points (repeated), I just don’t know.

  • lib2016

    Reader,

    The last place republicans would have stashed money is in somewhere with permanent security where they could not have guaranteed being able to recover it.

    But then we are invited to believe in republicans who have ‘stealth’ white vans which don’t show up on the security cameras, don’t worry about showing their faces on camera, and, on the Castlereagh raid, had information about acess known only to Special Branch.

    Oh! – and who, in any case, only ever acted on the instructions of the same Special Branch.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    JoeCanuck: “I’m sorry Dread but I don’t understand what you are trying to say. ”

    Joe, maybe I’m giving you too much credit, but based on your posts and our discourse to date across multiple topics and multiple threads, I have… difficulty believing you don’t understand what I am saying.

    Joe Canuck: “Your initial post was, to me, a clear rant against the police, even to the extent that you said ”further hamstrung..”. ”

    What delicate sensibilities you must have, if you think that was a rant… Anyway, explication follows:

    The PSNI suffers from a certain amount of political problems, internal, with RUC left-overs and nationalist new-comers. These are the PSNI’s political problems and are inherent to their internal process. These are the baseline — the problems they have without any other entities help.

    However, even when they complete an investigation and pass off the results to the prosecutors, the politics don’t end, now do they? How many legitimate cases have been dropped because a deadline was missed or some other error?

    Because the prosecutors play politics, they interefere (i.e. “hamstring) the PSNI, preventing them from doing their job. Also, as a general rule, one does not, at least not deliberately, hamstring one’s self.

    Even when the PSNI doesn’t play politics, their job is made harder by prosecution decision based on politics, hampering them (i.e. hamstringing them) from their goal of maintaining the peace and removing malefectors from circulation.

    JoeCanuck: “As to why you should think I have any desire to score cheap points (repeated), I just don’t know. ”

    Perhaps it is your poorly feigned innocence… Surely you’re not as unsophisticated as you are trying to appear. Nowhere did I even suggest that the PSNI decided who to prosecute, merely that the politicization of prosecutions hampered the police in attaining desired outcomes.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    lib2016: “The last place republicans would have stashed money is in somewhere with permanent security where they could not have guaranteed being able to recover it. ”

    Unless they weren’t “stashing” the money, but taking a piss on the PSNI, dumping some small share of the soon to be worthless scrip in a place to cause a little bit of embaressment, regardless of how it was sliced.

    Depending on the denominations in question, the dosh wouldn’t necessarily take up that much volume and could be easily brought past security.

    lib2016: “But then we are invited to believe in republicans who have ‘stealth’ white vans which don’t show up on the security cameras, don’t worry about showing their faces on camera, and, on the Castlereagh raid, had information about acess known only to Special Branch. ”

    Actually, Lib, one of the most “invisible” things in the industrialized world is a white van. Spend some cash for a collection of magnetic business signs (plumber, diaper, florist, etc._ and you can drive it into any neighborhood you’d like. As for not appearing on tape, it’d take some work, but finding a blind spot in the CCTV coverage is not that difficult. Likewise, CCTV coverage isn’t spy satellites — beyond a certain range, their grainy as all-get-out. Additionally, a few minor bits of tape, a little padding in the cheeks, a bit of gauze, etc. and the output is near useless.

    That said, none of the above, yours or mine, *proves* anything one way or the other.

  • Rory

    “….I never said the police get to make the decision on whether or not to prosecute.”

    I believe, Joe, that we are now led to believe that they do not and that the decision is taken, as in the rest of the “United” kingdom, by an “impartial” body, the Crown Prosecution Service or somesuch.

    It remains however that it is the police force (I disdain the term “service”) is the investigatory body that provides to the prosecution body the evidence on which the decision whether or not to prosecute is said to be based.

    Unfortunately we know from past experience that throughout the UK (including not least, Northern Ireland) this evidence is often concocted either to suit a purpose of the state itself – as in the cases of the Birmingham 6, the Guildford 4, Lockerbie etc. or to serve purposes simply related to police malfeasance and corruption.

    Sometimes also it is the case that strong evidence for prosecution provided by the police is deemed by the “independent” prosecutor not sufficient to proceed with to prosecution, often to protect corrupt government and its functionaries and benefactors. That investigations into corrupt arms contracts often feature in this regard might come as no surprise.

  • Reader

    lib2016: The last place republicans would have stashed money is in somewhere with permanent security where they could not have guaranteed being able to recover it.
    As DC has suggested, it was clearly a piss take. Whoever it was (ha!) planted the money then issued the tip-off. You have had as much fun with it as anyone, so don’t pretend you still take it seriously.
    Or, you could supply your own, alternative, narrative.

  • joeCanuck

    Rory and Dread

    I don’t deny that a supposedly independent body has shown itself,at times, to be subservient to political influence.
    This is not unique to N.I.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    joeCanuck: “I don’t deny that a supposedly independent body has shown itself,at times, to be subservient to political influence.
    This is not unique to N.I. ”

    While it is not unique for politics to influence policing in the west, the frequency of intrusion, the depth of the intrusion and the nakedness of the intrusion put NI somewhere out past the second standard deviation from the norm.

    For instance, usually when politics intrudes on policing, it is put pressure the police for results. In N.I., it would seem to be the opposite, most of the time, with the police being told not to arrest the hoods.