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Man (21) faces bomb and weapons charges

A Londonderry man has been returned for trial on a series of weapons and explosives charges.

Nathan Hastings (21), of Stradowne Drive in the Strathfoyle area, appeared at a preliminary inquiry at the city’s Magistrates Court yesterday.

He is charged with possessing a pipe bomb and weapons on April 12 last year.

Evidence was given by a police officer who had been granted anonymity and who gave his evidence from behind a screen.

This officer, who was identified as A37, said that it was “an intelligence-led operation” that had resulted in the arrest.

He said that on the day in question he would have received intelligence briefings throughout the day.

The officer added that he was part of a Quick Reaction Force there to assist other officers.

After two cars were stopped on the Northland Road in Derry the officer said he searched a Citroen car and found the weapons and explosives.

The officer was asked why he had searched the Citroen and not the other car and he replied that his job was “to plug the holes” wherever he was needed.

The officer was asked specifically if he had had information that the Citroen contained the weapons and he said ‘no’.

It was then accepted that there was a case to answer and Hastings had no further questions nor did he wish to call any witnesses at this stage.

He was returned for trial to appear at Belfast Crown Court on a date still to be fixed.

Belfast Telegraph