Man on charges linked to a loyalist feud has bail conditions relaxed to go to Premier League match

Laganside Court in Belfast

A CO Antrim man facing trial in the new year on offences linked to a loyalist feud had his bail varied to allow him to attend a Premier League match over the festive period.

David Weir is to stand trial at the end of January on firearms offences. He had been charged with - and denies - possessing a Ruger, a magazine and ammunition with intent to endanger life or damage property between October 25 and 29, 2016.

The 35-year old, from Rossmore Green in Greenisland, has also been charged with possessing the same items on the same dates in suspicious circumstances. He denies this charge.

During a bail application at Belfast Crown Court, Weir's barrister asked if the conditions could be amended to allow him to attend the Liverpool v Leicester match at Anfield on December 30 with his son.

Barrister Michael Boyd told Judge David McFarland that Weir has been on bail since January, and in that period there have been no breaches.

Mr Boyd added: "He had his bail varied before before to let him go glamping in Limavady and there were no problems with that."

As part of Weir's conditions, he had to sign with police - and it is this condition that Mr Boyd asked to be varied, to allow him to attend the football match with his son.

My Boyd also asked if Weir's curfew, which is currently set at 10pm, could be extended to midnight.

This, the court heard, would allow him to "extend his social life with his wife and friends" and "allow him to go out over the festive period."

After Mr Boyd made the application, Judge McFarland sought the views of the Crown, with barrister Sam Magee revealing the police had no objections about Weir attending the football match in Liverpool.

Mr Magee did, however, insist that Weir signs with police on the morning of his flight, and also when he returns to Northern Ireland.

Judge McFarland agreed to vary Weir's bail to allow him to attend the match with his son - but told him he has to sign with police upon his return.

Regarding extending Weir's curfew from 10pm to midnight, the judge refused this request and said: "I don't think it's appropriate, in the circumstances."

Although no details of the charges faced by Weir emerged during yesterday's application, a previous hearing was told the offences were linked to the discovery of a gun which police say was primed and ready to use in an ongoing loyalist feud in the Carrickfergus area.

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