A man charged in connection with the IRA murder of a policeman and the attempted murders of three soldiers has been released on bail after a judge was told he had been threatened by loyalists in jail.

Christopher O’Kane from Londonderry admitted assisting offenders following the IRA murder of Constable Michael Ferguson in the city in January 1993.

The 39-year-old also admitted attempting to murder three soldiers in Derry in 1993 and 1994 and being a member of the Provisional IRA between 1991 and 1996.

During a bail application in the Magistrates Court, O’Kane’s solicitor Ciaran Shiels told the court that there was no viable threat against O’Kane.

“The only threat he has received is from loyalist prisoners in Maghaberry Prison,” he said. Opposing bail, a PSNI detective constable said that “while there is no significant intelligence indicating a threat against the applicant’s life”, he believed O’Kane’s life would be in danger if he was released to any address in Derry city or county.

District Judge Barney McElholm released O’Kane on his own bail of £2,000 and a surety of £2,000. He will appear in court again on December 13.