Northern Ireland

Men face trial in connection with gun attack on police on 12 July

Ardoyne trouble
Image caption Police came under attack in Ardoyne on the night of 12-13 July last year

Two Belfast men are to stand trial in connection with a suspected gun attack on police, a judge has ruled.

The allegations relate to shots being fired as rioting erupted following a contentious Twelfth of July Orange Order parade through Ardoyne last year.

The accused are Michael Gorman, of Estoril Court, and Thomas McWilliams, from Northwick Drive.

They are both charged with having a semi-automatic rifle with intent to endanger life or damage property.

They are also charged with possession of the weapon in suspicious circumstances.

Mr Gorman, 58, faces a further count of assisting an offender by facilitating concealment of the weapon.

Mr McWilliams, 48, was brought from custody to appear alongside his co-accused for preliminary inquiry proceedings at Belfast Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

A prosecution lawyer argued that both men had a case to answer and should be sent for trial.

The district judge granted the application and returned the pair for trial at Belfast Crown Court.

Mr McWilliams is to remain in custody until the trial gets under way on a date to be fixed.

Mr Gorman was released on continuing bail, having surrendered all travel documents as part of his release conditions.