world : Man in court over New IRA-linked rifle denied bail

world : Man in court over New IRA-linked rifle denied bail
world : Man in court over New IRA-linked rifle denied bail

Friday 14 June 2024 10:30 PM

Nafeza 2 world - A Londonderry man accused of having an assault rifle linked to the New IRA must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled on Friday.

Patrick Collett, 56, from Rossnagalliagh, is alleged to have had the weapon and ammunition ready for use stored in his car boot.

Prosecutors claimed the gun, seized during a police surveillance operation in Derry in July, had been used previously by dissident republicans.

Mr Collett denies having a gun and ammunition with intent to endanger life and in suspicious circumstances.

The court was told the police observed him going into the home of 59-year-old co-accused Martin Burke at Lone Moor Gardens in the city on 21 May.

Minutes later, the prosecution said, Mr Collett emerged wearing a glove and carrying a plastic bag, which he placed in the boot of a Volkswagen Passat before driving off.

Police arrested him after stopping and searching the car in the Letterkenny Road area later that day.

The assault rifle, a magazine and compatible ammunition were recovered from the vehicle.

A Crown lawyer described the gun as well-oiled and maintained, describing it as fully ready and deployable.

Worth up to £8,000, police investigations established that the weapon had been used previously in connection with unspecified dissident republican activity.

Mr Collett has denied any involvement with violent republicanism and claimed to be unaware what the items were.

But Mr Justice O’Hara described his assertions of ignorance as questionable.

“There is some reason why he was asked to carry this weapon,” the judge said, adding that only the police surveillance operation had prevented the gun from being used.

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