Three men accused of possessing a loaded revolver were sitting within feet of it when it was uncovered, a judge has heard.
At the Diplock trial at Belfast Crown Court yesterday, prosecuting lawyer Kate McKay said police stopped a black Volvo on March 9, 2010 on the Stewartstown Road and found a loaded .38 revolver in the rear passenger-side footwell.
Driver Thomas Rooney (23), from Glasvey Close, Belfast, and back-seat passengers Cathal Kerr (21), from Gardenmore Road in Dunmurry, and Paul Shaw (36), from Oranmore Street, were arrested at the scene. The lawyer said that as well as the gun, a search of the car also revealed a walkie-talkie, knuckle-duster and baseball bat.
All three defendants deny a charge of possessing the gun and ammunition with intent to endanger life and under suspicious circumstances and a further charge of possessing weapons in a public place.
During interviews all three denied knowing anything about the gun. Rooney, whose mother owned the car, claimed the bat and knuckle-duster were a gift from his girlfriend's sister, whom he refused to name.
Ms McKay said, however, that Rooney and Kerr were allegedly linked to the gun as when it was forensically tested for DNA, a mixed profile was found on it.
The trial continues.