Two Derry dissident republicans have been sentenced for firearm and explosives charges.
Anthony Michael Taylor (45) from Bishop Street was sentenced at Laganside Court yesterday to eight years (three in custody, five on licence) for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Mark Anthony Kerr (26) from Carrabane Walk, was sentenced to six years (two years, six months in custody, 3 years six months on licence) for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of explosives under suspicious circumstances.
The charges were connected to an incident on August 2 2011, following a large PSNI underscored operation, when police stopped a car driven by Kerr in the Abercorn Road area of the city.
Taylor was located close to the area of the vehicle stop, and following a search of the car, the PSNI recovered a semi automatic rifle and a length of detonator cord.
Police believe these items were intended to be used in a dissident republican attack.
The PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch yesterday welcomed the sentences handed down to the two men.
“We should all be thankful that those in possession of these items were prevented from using them. Police will continue to combat the threat posed by dissident individuals and groups who plan to use violence to further their agendas. We would encourage people in the community to continue to work with us to reduce the threat posed by such reckless individuals so that we can bring them before the courts,” a Serious Crime Branch spokesman said.