Two men who were caught red-handed with a loaded gun but have as yet failed to offer any explanation for it have been jailed for three years each.
Ordering Thomas Rooney (23) and Cathal Kerr (21) to spend 15 months in jail and 21 months on licence, Belfast Crown Court Judge Gordon Kerr QC said while he had offered the pair an opportunity to explain why they had the loaded .38 revolver, no such explanation had ever been forthcoming.
Judge Kerr had heard how police stopped a black Volvo car on March 9, 2010 on Stewartstown Road in Belfast and found the revolver in the rear, passenger side footwell.
Rooney, from Glasvey Close, was the driver and Kerr, from Gardenmore Road in Dunmurry, was in the back seat. During police interviews both men denied knowledge of the firearm. They were linked to the gun, however, after their DNA profiles were uncovered on it.
Judge Kerr said that, without explanations, he was "left with the inference that the gun was to be used by them or others, but that the use fell short of having intent to endanger life or cause serious injury".