Pair plead guilty to having rifle

Two Derry men have pleaded guilty to having a rifle linked to dissident republicans which was uncovered on August 2, 2011.

The younger of the two, 26-year-old Mark Anthony Patrick Kerr from Carrabane Walk, also pleaded guilty to possessing a length of commerical detonating cord on the same occasion.

He was released on continuing bail while his 44-year-old co-defendant, Anthony Michael Taylor was remanded back into custody.

Taylor, a member of Republican Network for Unity, from Bishop Street in the city, although granted bail in the past, has refused to perfect it because it would involve him having to wear an electronic tag.

A prosecution lawyer told Belfast Deputy Recorder Judge Corinne Philpott QC that the guilty pleas to having the semi-automatic 597 Magnum rifle, which had been found in the boot of a car, was on the accepted basis of ‘second limb possession’, in that, they were holding the weapon for someone else intending to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.

A charge of possessing the rifle under suspicious circumstances was ‘left on the books’ and will not be preceeded with against the men.

Similarly, in Kerr’s case, a charge of possessing the denotating cord with intent to endanger life, was also ‘left on the books’.

Judge Philpott said that she would pass sentence on the the men late next month. (February 26).