Man with weapons to be sentenced next week

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The sentencing of a 40-year old man who admitted dissident republican related offences has been adjourned until next week.

Kevin Barry Concannon, from Beechwood Avenue, pleaded guilty to a total of seven offences.

They include possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property, possessing a firearm in suspicious circumstances, possessing explosives in suspicious circumstances and possessing information or documents likely to be of use to terrorists.

Belfast Crown Court heard police carried out a search of Concannon’s Beechwood Avenue home on June 10, 2013.

The search was part of a police investigation into the discovery of four primed mortar bombs while they were being transported from Co Donegal to Derry on March 3, 2013.

During the search a tennis ball containing 130 grammes of PETN explosives and a number of cartridge cases, both of which were wrapped in cling film, were found in a coal bunker in the back yard.

A thunder flash and smoke grenades were found in the hot press of the terraced property.

Officers also seized a laptop from the house and it was found to contain images of three masked men posing with a weapon or firearm.

The court was told the book ‘The Anarchist’s Cookbook’ was also found on the laptop and this contained instructions for making bombs and the ingredients required.

A camera was also located which had four images of men dressed in military uniform and 12 photographs of Merseyside Police Headquarters.

During a further search of the 40-year-old’s home police recovered number plates, a de-activated sub-machine gun and a pyrotechnic thunder flash, similar to those used in paintballing.

Police also recovered aluminium granules, magnesium ribbons and metal springs, which the court heard were similar to items found on mortar bombs seized on the Letterkenny Road in March 2013.

Prosecution QC Ciaran Muprhy said the PETN found in the coal bunker is a ‘highly explosive substance’ and a small amount used in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) had the potential to cause ‘major and even fatal injuries’.

It was accepted Concannon was ‘not the prime mover’ and that he was storing the items for others.

Defence counsel Kieran Mallon QC described his clients case as one of ‘warehousing’ and said there was ‘no DNA or forensice evidence linking this defendant to the explosives or any of the other items recovered’.

Judge David McFarland adjourned sentencing until next week to allow him to consider the submissions by prosecution and defence counsel.

Concannon was remanded in custody.