Man appears in court in connection with attempted murder of Belfast prison officer

Security services are concerned dissident republicans are planning further violence as we approach the Easter Rising centenary

Belfast, explosion, PSNI, Belfast, Woodstock Road, hospitalised

Police seal off a large area after a device exploded under a car in east Belfast | Image: Lesley-Anne McKeown / PA Wire/Press Association Images

A 45-year-old man has appeared in court today in connection with the attempted murder of a prison officer in East Belfast.

Christopher Alphonsos Robinson yawned as he was accused of the bombing last week at Belfast Magistrates' Court.

Heavily armed riot police stood between a crowd of his supporters and the main body of the court room.

He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear via video link before the same court on Friday the 1st of April.

Robinson has also been charged with the possession of explosives with the intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property.

The prison officer suffered leg injuries when a bomb exploded under a van he was in a week ago.

A 39-year-old who was being questioned has been released while detectives have been given more time to question one other person.

A 35-year-old woman who had been held over the attack has been released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.

Police on both sides of the border are on high alert in the run up to the centenary of the Easter Rising, which they believe could see a spike in dissident republican violence.