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Belfast man had Nazi memorabilia and shrine to cop killer, court told

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Belfast High Court.

Belfast High Court.

Belfast High Court.

A man accused of threatening to kill a judge and storing an "arsenal" of knives and axes at his east Belfast home must remain in custody, the High Court ruled today.

Carl Stirling, 25, was refused bail amid claims he also had Nazi memorabilia, loyalist paramilitary flags and a shrine to notorious double police murderer Dale Cregan.

Prosecutors further alleged he outlined plans to point a fake gun at any officers who arrived his house in a bid to provoke them into shooting him dead - a phenomenon referred to as "suicide by cop".

Stirling, of Holland Drive in the city, faces charges of threats to kill and threats to damage his own home, possession of imitation firearms, communicating false information about a bomb, and disorderly behaviour.

Denying bail, Lord Justice Deeny described the material recovered from his property on December 18 last year as "terribly worrying".

He said: "There's literally an arsenal of knives of various kinds, clearly not of a domestic kind, but knives that look extremely lethal and dangerous."

Stirling had allegedly been irate and upset while on the phone with a tenancy support worker, telling him he had been up all night drinking and was due in court on a separate case the next day.

According to the prosecution he believed he was going to jail and stated that he was going to kill the judge in open court to ensure his incarceration.

During a further phone conversation Stirling repeated the threat and warned the support worker that if police were contacted he would detonate explosives made out of gas canisters, it was contended.

Stirling went on to claim he had attacked and threatened two Chinese nationals outside court - although no such incident has been reported.

He was then arrested amid an alleged bout of disorderly behaviour at Connswater Carpark on Bloomfield Avenue.

Police searches at his home uncovered flags and images linked to paramilitary organisations and books about serial killers, the court heard.

Crown lawyer Conor Maguire said: "There were dozens of knives all over the house and multiple axes, including one with the words 'The Wife' written on it."

A hammer was embedded in one of the walls of the property, while an imitation AK47-type gun and martial arts nunchucks were also located.

Police found Nazi memorabilia and a framed photograph of Dale Cregan.

Cregan is serving a life sentence for four murders, including Greater Manchester police officers Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, and father and son David and Mark Short.

According to Mr Maguire a crude improvised device made out a spray can and fireworks was recovered too.

Stirling mounted a new bid to be released based on the contents of a psychiatric report.

Defence counsel Richard McConkey described the material found at his client's home as "bizarre".

He argued, however, there was no evidence the accused had even showed up at court to threaten any judge.

"This is absolute nonsense being talked by Mr Stirling on the phone," Mr McConkey added.

But Lord Justice Deeny identified a "fairly alarming range of weapons" being kept at the house, together with alleged evidence of "an interest in shootings and psychopaths".

Dismissing the bail application, he cited the need to ensure public protection.

Belfast Telegraph