Northern Ireland

Craigavon man Thomas Edwards sentenced over weapons find

A man who admitted having guns, ammunition and explosives found in his Craigavon house has been sentenced to six and a half years.

Thomas John Edwards, 49, of Meadowbrook, Tullygally, was arrested during a police search in August 2011.

Among the weapons found were an AKM assault rifle, a Beretta pistol, a mechanism for an improvised grenade launcher and ammunition.

Police said the weapons were being held for dissident republicans.

Just before his trial was due to start in July, Edwards pleaded guilty to having guns, ammunition and explosives with intent to enable others to endanger life on 10 August 2011.

Edwards also admitted possessing a balaclava for terrorist purpose and providing property, namely his home, for terrorism.

Judge David McFarland told Edwards, who will serve half his sentence in jail and half on supervised licence, that he accepted he had been under a degree of pressure from others to become a "reluctant store man" for the items.