A pipe bomb “delivery boy” from Lurgan who blew half his hands off is lucky to be alive, a court has heard.
Ryan Treanor has been linked to a crime gang known as ‘The Firm’, which has been linked to the murders of loyalist Malcolm McKeown in 2019 and Shane Whitla, who was shot dead in Lurgan earlier this month.
The 26-year-old previously admitted possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life on December 1, 2020.
Craigavon Magistrates’ Court was told on Friday the injuries he sustained in the botched bomb attack in the town “will be a daily reminder to him of his stupidity”.
Defence lawyer Patrick Lyttle described his client, from Victoria Gardens in Lurgan, as a “delivery boy”.
He said that “if the device had operated as intended, [Treanor] would not be before this court”.
Prosecuting counsel Robin Steer told the hearing that people living near the scene of the incident heard a “loud bang” at around 9.30pm on the date in question.
The intended victim, a career criminal who has been targeted in other bomb attacks and an attempted shooting, was not home at the time, but his mother and her grandchildren were.
When she looked out through her curtains, she saw “a man in dark clothing [with] his hands badly injured”.
The court was told “he was focused on his hands and shouting for an ambulance”.
When the police arrived at the scene, Treanor claimed “he had lifted something plastic and it exploded”.
However, officers noticed the “partial remains of a latex glove stuck to his wrist”.
Mr Steer said crime scene investigators also found other bits of bloodstained gloves and a bloodstained lighter feet away from the blast. Treanor’s DNA was discovered on these items.
After examining the defendant’s wounds, experts concluded they were “consistent with someone holding the bomb when it exploded”.
Treanor was taken to hospital for treatment and later arrested and interviewed, but he refused to answer police questions.
The court was told there were multiple aggravating features in the case, including the fact that a specific individual had been targeted and that a functional device had been used in the attack.
A defence lawyer said his client had an insignificant criminal record beforehand but had gone “from zero to 100 miles an hour in terms of offences”.
They told the court Treanor had sustained “life-altering, if not life-threatening, injuries”.
“The people who organised this did so knowing that this pipe bomb was extremely unstable and that the person who would deliver it would be at risk,” they added.
Adjourning the case until Tuesday, Judge Patrick Lynch KC remanded Treanor into custody and told him to expect a custodial term.
He said: “[He] knows the realities of life. Whatever the outcome, he is facing a reasonably substantial prison sentence.”