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Man who claimed he found gun and explosives in a cemetery jailed for terrorism offences

He was also handed a 15 year notification order.

Image: PSNI

A WEST BELFAST man who was arrested in England and charged with terror offences has been jailed for seven years.

Kevin Nolan was sentenced today at Laganside Crown Court after pleading guilty to a number of terrorism related offences. He was also handed a 15 year notification order.

The 46 year old was arrested at an address in Sunderland, England, in September 2015 following a search of his parents’ home in the Ballymurphy area of West Belfast which uncovered a significant quantity of explosives, firearms and ammunition, as well as a black coat and balaclava.

The items found included:

  • 651g of Semtex (enough to make 3 substantial bombs)
  • Approximately 400 rounds of ammunition
  • Two handguns & one silencer
  • Two detonators

Gun and silencer The gun and silencer found in searches. Source: PSNI

Detective Inspector Adrian Brown, from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Unit, said:

“Our intelligence-led search operation uncovered a significant cache of explosives, weapons and ammunition all hidden in various rooms within the family home.

“At this stage Kevin Nolan was living in England so PSNI detectives, assisted by officers from North East Counter Terrorism Unit and Northumbria Police, arrested him under the Terrorism Act and brought him back to Northern Ireland for interview during which he claimed he had no knowledge or involvement with these items.

At one stage he said he had found a bag containing the cache while walking alone in the City Cemetery. He said he seen two men, one of who was carrying a large plastic bag, which they left at a hedge.

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“Kevin Nolan stated he had taken the bag believing it contained drugs or money and he didn’t know there were firearms and munitions until he looked inside once he had arrived at his parents’ home where he lived at the time.

“At a later date he then claimed he had been approached to keep the items while working as a taxi driver at an office on the Springfield Road. He said at first he had refused the request but then acquiesced and hid the items in his parents’ house.”

Nolan’s DNA was then linked to the explosives and firearms, as well as the balaclava which was found with a black coat.

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