Belfast Telegraph

Suspected New IRA man to face trial over major weapons haul

A Coalisland man is to stand trial on charges related to what the PSNI previously said was one of the largest weapons hauls recovered in the past 10 years
A Coalisland man is to stand trial on charges related to what the PSNI previously said was one of the largest weapons hauls recovered in the past 10 years

By Staff Reporter

A Coalisland man is to stand trial on charges related to what the PSNI previously said was one of the largest weapons hauls recovered in the past 10 years.

Firearms accused Brian John Carron (34), from Colliers Lane, was described by police as a suspected member of the New IRA.

It is alleged that between May 24, 2010, and April 5, 2011, he was unlawfully and maliciously in possession of Semtex, rocket propellant, home grenade initiators, glucose powder, improvised power units, improvised incendiary devices, eight detonators and component parts of an improvised rocket system.

On the same dates it is alleged he also had four AKM assault rifles, six loaded magazines and a quantity of 7.62mm short ammunition. The defendant is further accused of possessing two mobile phones and four vehicles in preparation for an act of terrorism.

He was charged following searches in Coalisland carried out by detectives investigating the murder of PSNI constable Ronan Kerr.

Carron first appeared in court almost a year ago, when bail was refused.

This was appealed at the High Court where, despite police objections, the defendant was released on strict terms.

A detective previously told the court that Carron's DNA was found on one of the seized AKM rifles, which was found in a car.

Defence lawyers argued the DNA recovered was a mixed profile and that there was "absolutely no evidence" linking Carron to the murder of the officer and the numerous firearms charges. Catholic policeman Mr Kerr was killed by an under-car booby-trap bomb on April 2, 2011.

At the most recent court sitting a lawyer acting for the Public Prosecution Service said the case was on track for a committal to formally move to trial.

District Judge John Meehan remanded Carron on continuing bail to appear again next month, when a preliminary enquiry is expected to be held and the case transferred to Crown Court.

Last September the defendant was granted a temporary variation of bail to permit him to carry out groomsman duties at his sister's wedding.

Police were opposed to bail, but the judge agreed to a "Cinderella-like" extension to midnight, having rejected a defence application to stretch the curfew until 1am.

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