Alcoholic couple remanded in custody over possession of shotgun

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An alcoholic couple described as ‘crazy dipso-maniacs’, who showed off a sawn-off shotgun they found in a rubbish bin to a group of teenagers before one of them offered to sell it, have been remanded back into custody.

In court of Thursday, Judge Gordon Kerr QC said he wanted to review the complex case and to ascertain if it involved a degree of ‘exceptionality’, without which the couple face an immediate sentence of at least five years.

The pair, 28-year-old Simon Frederick Thomas Larmour with an address in Causeway Meadows, Lisburn, and 36-year-old Tatjana Glusecenka, whose address was given Verner Street, Belfast, admit possessing the firearm without a firearms certificate on July 2, 2015.

Prosecutor Mark Farrell told Belfast Crown Court that on that date a group of youths in a playground in Dover Street in the Shankill area were approached by the pair who were highly intoxicated. From Glusecenka’s green handbag, Larmour produced the shotgun wrapped in a cloth.

Larmour offered to sell the teenagers the weapon and said he “wanted to shoot a taig”. He then rewrapped the gun and put it back into the handbag.

Mr Farrell said that eventually the pair were overpowered by “two gentlemen”, later described as ‘local community representatives’ who restrained them until police arrived.

Defence barrister Stuart McTaggart, for Glusecenka, originally from Lithuania, said she “can’t believe the position she is in”, and claimed she was “just in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

Mr McTaggart said there was no suggestion that Glusecenka, an alcoholic, threatened anyone, or made threats of violence, and had even told Larmour “to wise up”.

He further argued that the legislation, which carries an immediate penalty of five years, was meant for those with ready access to weapons, or were involved in organised crime.

Barrister Jonny Connolly, for Larmour, also argued there was an ‘exceptionality’ to the case, not only because of the offence, but given the background of the accused and the case itself.

Although he too acknowledged that the custody threshold had been passed, Mr Connolly described the circumstances as just “incredible” and said that Larmour was an alcoholic whose life was an “absolute mess”.

“This is a crazy case with both of them dipso-maniacs,” said Mr Connolly.