Northern Ireland news

West Belfast man (49) goes on trial accused of possessing sawn-off shotgun

Gerard Martin McClory (49) has gone on trial at Belfast Crown Court accused of possessing a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition

A 49-year-old west Belfast man has gone on trial accused of possessing a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition.

A jury was told the munitions were uncovered during a police search of the Gartree Place home of Gerard Martin McClory on July 5 2016.

Belfast Crown Court heard they found the weapon, together with 41 shotgun cartridges and five rounds of .38 ammunition, in an assortment of bags, inside a larger bag, just inside a door in an en-suite bathroom leading to the eaves of his Andersonstown home.

The prosecution claim that McClory's palm prints were recovered from the outer surfaces of one of the bags, and that traces of DNA found on a sock containing ammunition could not be ruled out as coming from him.

The lawyer argued that while it was up to the jury to determine if McClory had knowledge and control of the various items, they would, on hearing all of the evidence, come to the inevitable conclusion he had possession of them.

McClory, who denied knowing anything about the shotgun and ammunition during police interview, has pleaded not guilty to possessing the items under suspicious circumstances and possessing the sawn-off shotgun, deemed, under law, to be a handgun, without a firearms certificate.

The trial is expected to last a week.

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