Woman jailed for 16 years over police officer murder bid

A woman who posed as a Swedish model to entrap a man into taking part in her bid to murder police officers has been jailed for 16 years and four months.

Christine Connor, 31, gasped as Belfast Crown Court Judge David McFarland imposed the sentence for the attempted murder of a police officer and other terror offences.

Judge McFarland told Connor he believed she was dangerous and was "committed to a violent philosophy to achieve political objectives".

Connor attacked police in North Belfast with blast bombs on two occasions in May 2013 after luring them into the area with fake 999 calls.

The officers escaped serious injury.

The court heard that Connor enticed Stuart Downes, from Shrewsbury, into her plot by using a fake online profile, including a fictitious name and photo of Swedish model Sanne Alexandra Andersson.

Mr Downes sourced and purchased the explosives before shipping them to Connor in Belfast.

He was arrested, questioned and charged with a series of offences linked to the May 2013 attack but took his own life last year.

Police said Connor had also enticed American man Zachary Gevelinger online using her fake identity.

Mr Gevelinger was arrested and questioned by police after he visited Connor in Hydebank Prison in July 2013.

He later took his own life.

Neither men had any previous connections to Northern Ireland.

Judge McFarland described Mr Downey as a "pitiful, troubled and vulnerable young man".

"Why he became involved with you is a mystery," he added.

Judge McFarland told Connor there were "disturbing and sinister" aspects to her relationship with Mr Downey and that she "appears to have been the controlling influence".

He said she had attempted to indoctrinate Mr Downey with her views of Irish history.

"It's within your power to manipulate others. You are committed to a violent philosophy to achieve political objectives. You have shown little remorse.

"I find you dangerous," added the judge.

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