Judgment reserved in trial of Semtex accused

Kevin Nolan was released on continuing bail
Kevin Nolan was released on continuing bail

A Crown Court judge presiding over the non-jury Diplock trial of a west Belfast man accused of possessing Semtex, guns and bullets has reserved judgment in the case.

Kevin Nolan was arrested at his partner’s address in Sunderland in September 2015 after 651 grams of the explosive substance was found in his parents’ Ballymurphy home.

The trial against the 47-year old, from Stewartstown Road, was opened last month and resumed on Tuesday.

Whilst Nolan’s legal team told the judge the case against their client was “characterised by an absence of evidence”, a Crown barrister said Nolan’s version of events was a “total fabrication”.

After listening to submissions from both the Crown and Nolan’s defence team, Judge Patricia Smyth said she was reserving judgment.

During the trial, Belfast Crown Court heard that the Semtex was discovered along with two guns, detonators and assorted ammunition during a police search on September 17, 2015.

Amongst the items was a holdall containing a Baikai gas pistol and a revolver, over 300 bullets and suspected Semtex, which was wrapped in cling film.

Also found were two improvised detonators, and when a second bedroom was searched, a black balaclava was located, along with a large plastic tub containing more rounds of ammunition.

Crown prosecutor Michael Chambers said that when the items underwent forensic testing, Nolan’s DNA was located on the inside of the balaclava as well as on the grip of the Baikai pistol. He was arrested in the north of England three days later.

Nolan chose not to give evidence at the trial.

He was released on continuing bail.