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Derry man accused of having hoard of 'terrorist items' is bailed

A Londonderry man accused of having terrorist items and numerous replica assault rifles was released on bail on Friday.

Granting bail to 26-year-old William Martin McDonnell at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Gordon Kerr QC ordered £1,000 cash be lodged with the court and that another surety of £2,000 be signed for.

He also ordered McDonnell to sign on at Strand Road PSNI station everyday, observe a curfew from 10pm to 7am and to have no contact with his co-accused 45-year-old Paul McDonnell.

McDonnell, from Rinmore Drive in the Creggan estate is accused of having five imitation assault rifles, two blank firing pistols, five blank revolver rounds, three holsters, five camouflage jackets, balaclavas, belts, black gloves, black shoes, binoculars and a two-way radio for a purpose connected with terrorism.

He also denies possessing an 8mm blank calibre pistol under suspicious circumstances, also on July 12 last year.

McConnell, from Eastway Gardens, also in the Maiden City, is charged with having a Chevrolet Epica car for a purpose "connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism" with all the charges faced by both alleged to have occurred on July 12 last year.

Prosecuting lawyer Kate McKay described how police on a "proactive operation" raided McDonnell's house and uncovered the various items in the property, adding that as cops went in the front door, two men ran out the back to McDonnell's parents' house nearby.

McDonnell was arrested and interviewed and read a prepared statement claiming that since he was a youngster, he had been collecting "items of outdoor clothing" as well as replica firearms but that neither he nor the weapons were ever used for any illegal activity.

He also declared that "was not and never will be a member of any illegal organisation".

Belfast Telegraph