Northern Ireland

Belfast man appears in court on firearms charges

A north Belfast man has appeared in court charged with firearms offences.

Stephen Jones, 49, from Cliftonville Avenue, is charged with having a rifle magazine and 29 bullets under suspicious circumstances on 24 September.

He was remanded into custody.

Belfast Magistrates' Court was told on Saturday that it was not the first time the accused had faced a court and that he had been wrongfully remanded into jail two weeks ago.

A police officer told the court he believed he could connect Mr Jones to the charges.

Solicitor Philip Breen argued however that as Jones had initially been charged and remanded into jail on legislation that did not exist, "I have issues about the legality of this remand".

He revealed that the police and PPS mistake was spotted on Friday and Mr Jones was released but then re-arrested.

Mr Breen submitted there "would have to be some change" to permit the same charges to be brought before the court.

District Judge Ken Nixon disagreed and said that the charge was "quite rightly before the court".

He remanded Jones back into custody to appear again via video link on 1 November.