Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 12:45 UK

Guns and bullets accused denied bail in Belfast

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Anyone storing weapons for terrorists poses as great a danger to the public as those who use them, a judge has told a High Court bail hearing.

Joseph Woods, 34, is accused of possessing two rifles and assorted ammunition with intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property.

They were recovered during police searches in north Belfast last month.

Denying him bail, Lord Justice Coughlin said: "These are serious offences which represent a grave risk to the public."

During the bail application on Wednesday, it was claimed one weapon was found behind a bathroom panel in the accused's flat.

Crown counsel Fiona O'Kane said the recovered ammunition included 7.62 calibre bullets for assault rifles.

She told the court: "Police are concerned the firearms and ammunition were intended to be used, possibly by terrorists who have stepped up their activities in recent weeks."

Charles McCreanor, defending, said the accused knew about an air-rifle, pellets and fireworks found in a cupboard.

He said, however, that Mr Woods said he knew nothing about anything else discovered.

"We have to accept on the evidence that in accommodation he had for a reasonably long period these items have turned up, albeit some of them were secreted," Mr McCreanor added.

Ruling against granting bail, Lord Justice Coghlin said according to the prosecution, at least one of the weapons and some shells were easily accessible or visible.

"These are terrorist offences. Those who hold arms and ammunition are every bit as dangerous to the public as those who are prepared to use them," the judge said.



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