Man cleared of gun and ammunition charges

Court
Court

A 34-year-old man has been acquitted of firearms charges linked to the discovery of a pistol and ammunition in a block of flats in east Belfast.

Stanley Robin Matthews, from Tower Court, was accused of possessing a Browning pistol and ammunition in suspicious circumstances, and also possessing the handgun without a Firearms Certificate, after the items were found during two searches at Dunlop House in March 2014.

During a week-long trial held at Belfast Crown Court, the jury of seven men and five women were told that Matthews’ DNA was found on the items.

Whilst the Crown argued that the presence of his DNA meant Matthews must have handled the items, his defence team made the case he had no knowledge of the firearms and ammunition, and that the presence of his DNA was consistent with contamination by secondary transfer.

It also emerged that Matthews had been staying in the flat on a temporary basis.