Ballycastle ‘hoax bomb’ case awaits handwriting analysis

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INVESTIGATORS are awaiting a forensic report regarding handwriting in the case of a man charged with causing a security alert at Ballycastle Police Station and making a number of hoax calls saying bombs had been left at PSNI bases across Northern Ireland, Coleraine Magistrates Court was told on Monday.

58-year-old Noel McGinn of Mayo Drive, Ballycastle, is charged with possessing articles for use with a petrol bomb and placing an article to cause a bomb hoax at Ballycastle Police Station on March 5. 2015.

McGinn is also accused of making three hoax phone calls - two to daily newspapers and one to a weekly newspaper - on March 13 saying bombs were set to explode at various police stations.

He also allegedly made a similar call on March 14 to the emergency services saying a bomb would explode at a pub in Ballycastle.

The accused is further charged with possessing a magnet in connection with fraud on March 25, 2014.

A defence lawyer said on Monday his client has acute mental health difficulties and was suffering from a bad leg injury which meant he had been in hospital and he is now in residential care in County Tyrone.

A prosecutor said it is a “serious” case and matters were adjourned to February.