Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008

Man gets 10 years over explosives

gavel

A Belfast man has been jailed for 10 years for having explosives found during police searches in the city.

Liam James Hannaway, 38, pleaded guilty to possession of explosives with intent and possession of ammunition with intent on 17 September, 2004.

Hannaway, of Hillhead Drive, also admitted having a revolver and ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

The explosives, including a coffee jar bomb, were found during planned searches of two properties and a car.

Hannaway lived in one of the houses.

The explosives and the ammunition seized were forensically tested and it was concluded a majority were similar to devices used by dissident republicans.

Hannaway was linked to the explosives by DNA and the court was told that when arrested, the accused made 'no comment' replies during police interviews but subsequently admitted his guilt.

He also admitted to a firearms charge after initially claiming he came to be in possession of a Webley revolver after finding it in a car park.

Judge Tom Burgess said dissident republicans "have carried out a campaign of terror" when a "majority of this community" were striving for peace and prosperity.

The judge said the facts of the case indicated Hannaway was "someone involved in more than simply storing and keeping" weapons.

Saying the devices - in particular the coffee jar device - had the potential to cause serious damage, Judge Burgess said potential victims "must be given the highest protection of the court".



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