Londonderry man Eamon Bradley, dubbed Northern Ireland’s first so-called ‘Jihadi Paddy’, won’t face a third trial accused of involving himself in terrorist activities in the Middle East three years ago.
Londonderry Crown Court prosecutor Ciaran Murphy QC told Judge Brian Sherrard that the matter having been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, “we are not prepared to proceed again”, and asked for the charges to be left on the books.
Mr Bradley was not in Antrim Courthouse for Tuesday’s short hearing during which Judge Sherrard said that it was “the right decision from my own perspective”.
The prosecution turnaround comes a week after a second jury failed to reach a definitive verdict in the case of 28-year-old Mr Bradley, or ‘Eamon of Arabia’ as he has also been referred to, who’d always denied travelling to Syria to become a Mujahideen fighter.
At the end of the first trial in February, the Muslim convert was acquitted of possessing explosives. However, that first jury was unable to decide on verdicts on the more substantive charges of attending terrorist training camps in Syria and receiving instruction in the use of weapons and explosives.
A retrial was subsequently ordered, this time in Omagh Crown Court, but after an 11-day trial, over five weeks, the second jury also admitted they could not reach a verdict.
A defence lawyer had claimed the alleged admissions of Mr Bradley – a man unsure of the correct spelling of his own first name, and who has difficulty in remembering his date of birth – were unreliable.