Dissident republican terrorist Sean McVeigh jailed for 25 years

Sean McVeigh
Sean McVeigh

Sean McVeigh has been jailed at Belfast Crown Court for 25 years after being convicted of attempting to kill a police officer in Northern Ireland with a car bomb.

Sean McVeigh, 38, of Victoria Street, Lurgan, was convicted in February of the attempted murder of the officer at his home using an under-car bomb following a non-jury Diplock trial.

The bid was foiled when the officer’s wife, who is also a serving police officer, raised the alarm at their home in the Eglinton area of Co Londonderry in the early hours of June 18 2015.

A sentencing hearing last week was told during submissions from the prosecution and defence that McVeigh has shown no remorse, before the hearing was adjourned for a week while Judge Stephen Fowler considered what he had heard.

McVeigh reappeared in the dock at Belfast Crown Court on Friday morning to be sentenced.

Judge Stephen Fowler described McVeigh as a “committed dissident republican terrorist”.

He said the device which McVeigh had planted had “one purpose, to kill anyone unfortunate enough to be in the car” and noted that McVeigh has shown “no semblance of remorse”.

The judge said there were two potential victims, the police officer and his wife.

He said it was “entirely fortuitous” that the planting of the bomb was disrupted and that both could have been in the car, and added that given the car was parked in a residential area there could easily have been multiple deaths.

“I have no doubt this was a terrifying ordeal for both officers,” Judge Fowler said.

The judge sentenced McVeigh to 25 years in prison.

As McVeigh was led from the dock, a group of men in the public gallery raised their right arms with clenched fists.