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Bail for east Belfast man accused of having gun and ammunition

A man accused of having a gun and ammunition with intent to endanger life is to be granted bail, a judge ruled today.

Wayne Matthews was released from custody amid defence claims that forensic evidence against him may have been contaminated.

The 32-year-old is alleged to have been in possession of a Browning pistol and 24 rounds of ammunition.

The weapon was discovered in a communal area during police searches in east Belfast in March.

Matthews, of Cuba Walk in the city, also faces a second charge of having a small amount of cannabis.

He was arrested yesterday as part of an ongoing investigation into the gun find.

As he appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court today it was claimed that an interim DNA report links him to the gun.

But defence solicitor Pat Kelly insisted Matthews will be contesting the charge.

Mr Kelly said the evidence against his client was purely of a forensic nature.

The lawyer also raised the possibility of a possible secondary contamination with a sock or tea-towel found in the same area.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted his application for bail.

She imposed a night-time curfew and ordered Matthews to surrender his passport.

He must also report to police four times a week.

Matthews will appear again in court on June 13.

Belfast Telegraph