Belfast Telegraph

West Belfast man charged with pistol possession fails to have case dismissed

By Alan Erwin

A west Belfast man charged with possessing a pistol and ammunition with intent to endanger life failed on Friday in a legal bid to have the case dismissed.

Gerard Burleigh is accused of having a Walther P99, a quantity of 9mm rounds and a suppressor.

The 33-year-old, of Norfolk Road in the Ballymurphy area, also faces three other weapons-related charges in connection with a seizure by police in August last year.

They include possessing a Taser, pepper spray and an imitation firearm, namely a Glock pistol, with intent to cause any person to believe unlawful violence would be used.

Prosecutors allege the weapons were located at an address linked to Burleigh.

At Belfast Magistrates' Court today a Crown lawyer argued that DNA evidence connects the accused to the firearm.

But defence solicitor Peter Corrigan, of Phoenix Law, challenged the strength of the case against his client.

He argued that the gun was wrapped in a plastic bag and tea-towels.

No finger prints belonging to Burleigh were found on the pistol, ammunition or silencer, Mr Corrigan stressed.

"There's no evidence of intent, and in my submission the defendant should be discharged," he said.

However, Deputy District Judge Noel Dunlop ruled that a prima facie case had been established.

Burleigh, who appeared in the dock in handcuffs, was then asked if he wanted to call witnesses or give evidence at this stage.

He shook his head to decline the opportunity.

Granting a prosecution application, Mr Dunlop ordered: "The defendant will be returned for trial at Belfast Crown Court on a date to be fixed."

Burleigh was remanded back into custody, waving to friends in the public gallery as he was led back to the cells.

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