Two plead guilty to having rifle in Derry

Two men from Londonderry have pleaded guilty to having a rifle that has been linked to dissident republicans. The rifle was discovered on 2 August, 2011, in the city.

Mark Anthony Patrick Kerr, 26, from Carrabane Walk, also pleaded guilty to possessing a length of commercial detonating cord on the same occasion.

Anthony Michael Taylor, 44, from Bishop Street, was remanded back into custody.

Kerr was released on continuing bail.

Taylor refused bail because it would involve him having to wear an electronic tag.

A prosecution lawyer told Belfast Crown Court that the guilty pleas to having the semi-automatic 597 Magnum rifle was on the accepted basis of "second limb possession", in that, they were holding the weapon for someone else intending to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.

The judge said a charge of possessing the rifle under suspicious circumstances was "left on the books" and will not be preceded with against the men.

Similarly, in Kerr's case, a charge of possessing the detonating cord with intent to endanger life, was also "left on the books".

She said that she would pass sentence on the the men late next month.