The criminal case against our client Thomas Hughes was withdrawn by the PPS today at Belfast District Judges’ Court Number 10.

Mr Hughes was charged with possession of approximately 2.5 kg of Semtex, discovered in Maeve House in the New Lodge area of Belfast, which was described by the PSNI as the largest and most significant explosives find in Northern Ireland in the last ten years.

Mr Hughes was extensively interviewed by police in the course of his arrest in May 2014 and consistently refuted any knowledge of or involvement with explosives.

Mr Hughes’ solicitor, Michael Madden of Madden & Finucane said today:

“Today’s hearing marks the culmination of a sustained campaign of representations at remand hearings at Belfast District Judges’ Court for the Public Prosecution Service and the PSNI to serve evidence alleged to connect our client to the high explosives haul. Following a review of the existing evidence in the case the decision has finally been taken by the PPS to withdraw the charges against Thomas.

“This was a prosecution against Mr Hughes that should never have been brought. We made strenuous objections both in Antrim Serious Crime Suite and at our client’s first remand hearing as to the sufficency and strength of the evidence said to properly ground this charge. We are pleased that Mr Hughes can now look forward to putting this traumatic experience behind him and to getting back to his normal life.”

Michael Madden
Solicitor Advocate
Madden & Finucane