'IRA bomber' was tailed

A 'DEDICATED' IRA terrorist was under surveillance by detectives while apparently on a mission to plant a bomb in central London a few days before the general election last year, an Old Bailey jury was told yesterday.

James Canning, 37, who was being followed, went into a Burger King restaurant in Piccadilly. In a lavatory there, John Bevan, for the prosecution, said, Mr Canning primed a bomb he had been carrying in his briefcase.

It was also alleged by Mr Bevan that Mr Canning's lover, Audrey Lamb, 60, although not a terrorist, had 'deliberately and knowingly' allowed her home in Northolt, west London, to be used by Mr Canning for his activities.

Both deny conspiring to cause explosions in April last year; possessing Semtex explosive and also possessing six AKM armalite rifles. Mr Canning also denies having a loaded .357 Smith and Wesson revolver and unlawfully causing an explosion on 6 April last year. Ms Lamb denies supplying money and other property to Mr Canning, knowing it might be used for acts of terrorism. The trial is expected to last for five weeks.

Mr Bevan said during 1991 and in the run up to the general election, the IRA mounted a campaign in London. Mr Canning, a 'dedicated terrorist' was involved, although others also participated. 'It is the prosecution case that he was involved in one attempt to kill large numbers of people and other bombings. He had access to, and used, vast amounts of equipment, the only purpose of which was to cause damage and injury.'

Although married, he had become involved with Ms Lamb. 'There is no doubt she fell for him. Whether he felt the same for her or simply used her as a convenient cover will be for you to decide,' he told the jury.

The trial continues today.

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