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Murderer in court on firearms offences

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Bobby Moffett (43), was shot dead at point blank range in front of shoppers and children on Belfast's Shankill Road in May 2010.

Bobby Moffett (43), was shot dead at point blank range in front of shoppers and children on Belfast's Shankill Road in May 2010.

Bobby Moffett (43), was shot dead at point blank range in front of shoppers and children on Belfast's Shankill Road in May 2010.

A man currently serving a life sentence for murder has been back in court on a firearms offence.

Ian Hugh Weir - who is one of four men in prison for the January 2012 murder of Comber farm labourer Phillip Strickland - appeared in the dock of Belfast Crown Court on two offences arising from a police search following the fatal shooting.

Weir (29), from Raffrey Road in Crossgar, admitted possessing a handgun without holding a firearms certificate and also possessing a round of ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

The charges arose from a search of property linked to Weir which was conducted in the aftermath of Mr Strickland's murder.

During the search of a garden at Derryboye Road in Crossgar, police discovered a cushion cover buried under a rock. A plastic bag was found inside the cushion cover which contained two balaclavas wrapped around a "large pistol".

Also present was an imitation firearm, which was not prohibited, and inside this was a cartridge which was capable of being fired from the larger pistol.

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