Northern Ireland

Man charged with having military style gun freed from custody

Bail was granted despite police objections

Three men are accused of murder at Belfast Crown Court
The accused appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court via video link from prison (Niall Carson/PA)

A Co Antrim charged with having a military-style gun and ammunition has been freed from custody despite police objections.

Andrew Paul Morrow (45), of North Road in Carrickfergus, appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court via video link from prison.

Morrow is charged with possessing a M4 carbine rifle and a quantity of 5.56mm rounds of ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

The court heard that police on patrol on May 5 2023 observed a co-accused “jumping over a 7ft front fence at Morrow’s North Road home’' and getting into his car. He was stopped and searched and a small quantity of ‘cannabis edibles’ was found in his big.

“In the North Road property there was a M4 carbine, a quantity of ammunition and a large quantity of Class A cocaine with an estimated street value of £50,000,’’ said the detective.

“These items were found in a bedroom that didn’t look occupied. Enquiries to date lead us to believe that this is a fully functioning rifle which is quite significant.

“Mr Morrow lives at the property and he didn’t come back at it until 10 pm that night.”

A police officer told District Judge Philip Mateer that he was not opposed to Morrow being released on bail but the objection was to the proposed address in Magherafelt.

Following submissions, District Judge Mateer stated: “I am prepared to admit him to bail at that address in Magherafelt subject to conditions.

“The police can monitor the situation and if they have any concerns they can apply for a reconsideration of the matter.”