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PSNI abandons appeal in former IRA hunger striker stop and search case

The solicitor for Bernard Fox and his partner said any person who was subject to a stop and search should now issue civil action against the Chief Constable.

Former IRA hunger striker Bernard Fox.
Former IRA hunger striker Bernard Fox.
Image: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland

THE PSNI HAS decided to abandon its appeal of a court decision that the stop, search and question of former IRA hunger striker Bernard Fox,  his partner Christine Fox and republican Marvin Canning was unlawful.

In March 2011, police stopped Fox and his companion in a car and searched it for munitions, with officers also allegedly going through the woman’s handbag. Canning, who is Martin McGuinness’s brother-in-law also claimed he had been stopped by police over 100 times.

All three have denied any involvement in terrorism.

A court in May this year ruled that there was a lack of adequate safeguards for the three people against potential abuse of the system because there was no code of practice. The judge therefore ruled that the PSNI would not have a proper basis for exercising the power until a code was introduced.

This ruling was rejected by the PSNI who said at the time it would launch a Supreme Court challenge but today the solicitor for the Foxs confirmed that the Chief Constable of the PSNI this morning “formally abandoned an appeal” against the decision in May.

“Any person who was subject to stop and search should proceed to issue civil actions against the Chief Constable concerning any stop and searches which occurred up until 15 May 2013, the date on which a code of practice was implemented,” Fearghal Shiels said.

Both Fox and Canning now plan to seek damages from the PSNI.

Read: 12 PSNI officers disciplined after their handling of search for missing man>

Read: Shatter: IRA needs to cooperate with Garda investigation into prison officer killing>

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