A Crumlin man who rang police threatening to kill himself has appeared in court on weapons and ammunition charges.
Armed response officers were sent to the Beechview Courtyard home of John Carleton (44) last Sunday, November 23, following a 999 call he made.
Following a peaceful negotiation, officers entered the property and discovered a loaded sawn-off shotgun lying on a sofa.
A number of other items were found in a bag including five live cartridges and Carleton was subsequently arrested.
He is charged with possessing a shotgun and shotgun cartridges, possessing a shotgun without a firearm certificate, possessing seven shotgun cartridges without a certificate, shortening a shot gun to less than 24 inches, possessing cannabis, and causing damage to kitchen cupboard in the property.
The details of the arrest were made during a bail hearing for Carleton at Antrim Magistrates Court last week.
DC Corry said that Carleton initially gave a no comment interview before giving a prepared statement in which he claimed that the previous Tuesday, a group of masked men, which he said were from the Republican movement, came to his home asking him to keep a bag for them.
DC Corry said Carleton said he wasn’t aware of what was in the bag.
DC Corry said police were objecting to bail for fear of Carleton committing further offences due to his criminal record, and a fear of him leaving the jurisdiction.
He added that if released, police feared there could be a “public order situation from public opinion about the nature of the incident”.
In setting the case for bail, Carleton’s barrister Chris Sherrard said an address had been found for Carleton in Anderstown and that he would comply with any bail conditions.
Mr Sherrard said his client was the victim of a punishment shooting in 2013 after he had refused to hold explosives for individuals of a similar ilk.
He also referred to Carleton’s current mental health, and that he had family in the local area, and would be happy to be electronically tagged.
Mr Sherrard added the Carleton had no offence of this nature on his record.
“It’s a clear case that the weapons are not his but he accepts he was holding them for other persons; holding it under threat,” Mr Sherrard added.
District Judge Alan White said the issue of duress would be a matter for the court to determine.
Mr White said he was concerned there was a “serious risk of further offences” and for that reason he would refuse bail.
The case was adjourned until December 23.