Belfast Telegraph

Murderer in court on firearms offences

By Ashleigh McDonald

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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