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Man says he found pistol in pub toilet

A Belfast man stopped with a convertible starting pistol claimed he found it in the |toilets of a city centre bar, a court has heard.

Samuel Leathem (20) was charged with possessing a firearm in suspicious circumstances after being arrested by police early on Sunday morning.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard yesterday how police discovered the pistol tucked into the waistband of his jeans when they chased and caught him in the Ormeau Road area.

It was claimed Leathem, of Isoline Street in the city, told them: “I have something you might want in my pocket.”

Detective Constable James Johnston said the pistol could have been converted into a firing gun.

Questioned by defence |solicitor Denis Moloney, the officer confirmed Leathem made a full statement during interviews.

Mr Moloney told the court: “This was a starting pistol.

“He said he had been in Benedicts Bar for some considerable time on Saturday and discovered this in the gents’ toilets.”

The lawyer added: “What he intended to do was throw it into the river.”

Leathem was granted bail to appear again before the court next week.

District Judge George Conner ordered him to stay with his uncle at an address in the city and imposed an alcohol ban.

He was also curfewed and told to report to police |officers twice in the next seven days.

Belfast Telegraph

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