A Dunmurry man who was caught with a sub-machine gun and two pistols in his shed will be sentenced for the offences next month.
Edward Francis Corr, from Foxes Glen, appeared in Belfast Crown Court where he admitted two charges arising from a police search at his home in October 2016.
Corr initially denied the offences, but his barrister Gavan Duffy QC asked that his client be rearraigned on the charges he faces.
The father of three was charged with possessing a sub-machine gun, two semi-automatic pistols and two magazines plus a quantity of ammunition with intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property, or to enable some other person by means thereof to endanger life or cause serious damage to property, on October 24, 2016.
He was also charged with possessing on the same date a Skorpion M48 sub-machine gun, which was so designed or adapted that two or more missiles could be successively discharged without repeated pressure on the trigger, without the authority of the secretary of state.
Corr replied guilty when both charges were put to him. Prosecuting barrister Liam McCollum QC said the Crown was accepting the pleas and asked for a third charge that was levelled against Corr – namely possessing the same firearms and ammunition in suspicious circumstances – be ‘left on the books’ and not proceeded with.
Although no details of the search of Corr’s home emerged during Thursday’s hearing, a previous court was told all three weapons were located in Corr’s shed, and that Corr claimed he was threatened that he would be shot if he didn’t agree to store the guns.
Police linked the seizure of the weapons to dissident republican group Oglaigh na hEireann.
Following Corr’s guilty pleas, Mr Duffy asked for the compilation of pre-sentence reports, and said the defence would also be seeking a psychological report as there is “quite a significant mental health issue”.
Asking that his client be granted continuing bail, Mr Duffy told Judge Gordon Kerr QC that Corr didn’t have any relevant previous convictions, and had adhered to all the bail conditions imposed in the High Court.
Judge Kerr agreed to release Corr on bail, and told him he would be sentenced for the firearms offences on June 29.