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Three Derry men jailed for 10 years over rocket

By Ashleigh McDonald

Three men who were stopped in a car containing a viable armour-piercing bomb have been sentenced to a total of 30 years.

The trio, all from Londonderry, were handed 10 years each — half to be served in custody, and half on supervised licence.

Jason Lee Anna Ceulemans (42) from Lecky Road, Damien Harkin (48) from Westland Avenue and Neil Christopher Hegarty (49) from Sackville Street each pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing the device to enable some other person to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.

Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland QC accepted that they were transporting the device and added: “This was a particularly effective device designed to pierce armoured vehicles and kill or cause serious harm to the occupants.”

Crown prosecutor Terence Mooney QC told Belfast Crown Court that the car with all three men on board was stopped in the Westway area of Creggan on December 3, 2012.

When police searched the Renault Megane, they discovered a rucksack in the rear footwell which contained a “viable Explosive Fired Projectile”.

Mr Mooney said it contained high explosives and was “ready and able to be used”.

“This device is an anti-personnel weapon...

“Had it been successfully fired at a police vehicle, it had the potential to kill or seriously injure any occupants of the target vehicle,” he said.

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