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Forensic tests yet to be completed on guns and ammunition allegedly discovered in loyalist Winston Irvine’s car, court told

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A car seized by police after the arrest of Winkie Irvine on gun charges

A car seized by police after the arrest of Winkie Irvine on gun charges

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

A car seized by police after the arrest of Winkie Irvine on gun charges

Forensic tests have yet to be completed on guns and ammunition allegedly discovered in the boot of leading loyalist Winston Irvine’s car, a court heard today.

Prosecutors indicated that it could take at least another month to obtain a final report on any DNA profiles linked to the haul.

Irvine remains in custody on charges connected to the weapons seizure made in Belfast last month.

The 47-year-old, of Ballysillan Road in the city, is accused of possessing a firearm and ammunition in suspicious circumstances, possessing a prohibited firearm, possession of a handgun without a certificate, and having ammunition without a certificate.

A second man, Robin Workman, 51, from Shore Road in Larne, Co Antrim, is also currently in custody on the same charges.

Police claim Workman, a 51-year-old joiner, transported the haul of guns in his van to a meeting with his co-accused in the Glencairn area on June 8.

Following an alleged interaction between the two men, Irvine’s car was stopped a short time later at Disraeli Street.

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Officers discovered two suspected pistols, an air gun, magazines and more than 200 rounds of ammunition inside a leather Calvin Klein holdall in the boot of the vehicle, according to the prosecution.

Mixed DNA profiles were said to have been located on the bag’s handle.

Irvine, described by his lawyer at a previous hearing as a “renowned peace builder”, denied knowing anything about the contents of the bag.

But police have disputed suggestions that he held discussions with Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton about decommissioning weapons on the day before the seizure.

Irvine did not appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court for today’s update on the case.

During the brief hearing a Crown lawyer said: “Forensics have been requested, (but) there is no timetable yet for the return of the forensic reports.

“Hopefully we will be better able to advise the court in four weeks as to when they are going to be returned.”

Defence solicitor Darragh Mackin replied: “There have been provisional forensic findings already disclosed, so hopefully we should be in a position to move forward on the next occasion.”

District Judge George Conner granted a four-week adjournment in the proceedings against Irvine and Workman.

He added: “I hope for progress in all cases.”


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