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Hospital gunman 'wanted to be shot'

A man accused of bringing an air rifle into a hospital did it so police would shoot him, a court heard.

Samuel David Ferris is said to have shown the gun to a receptionist at Belfast's Royal Victoria before asking her to call the PSNI.

The 26-year-old, of Newtownabbey, is charged with possessing a firearm, having it without a certificate and failing to comply with bail conditions set after the incident on March 18.

A police officer yesterday told Belfast Magistrates Court she opposed bail due to the risk of reoffending and because the defendant "stated he had a weapon so police would shoot him".

Defence solicitor Feargal MacElhatton said his client had major psychiatric difficulties. He added: "The indication was he wanted to commit suicide. He thought police would assist him."

Judge Fiona Bagnall granted Ferris bail on the condition that he lives at his mother's house and stays away from hospitals. He will return to court in four weeks.

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