Stoneyford man to stand trial on weapons and ammunition charges

Mark Harbinson.' Pic by Pacemaker Press
Mark Harbinson.' Pic by Pacemaker Press

Stoneyford loyalist Mark Harbinson is to stand trial later this year on weapons and ammunition charges.

The 51-year-old, of Stoneyford Road, is representing himself after dismissing his previous legal team.

He denies charges of possessing a 9mm pistol, silencer and 28 rounds of ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

The former Drumcreee protestor also denies charges of having the Makarov handgun and ammunition without a certificate.

The prosecution previously withdrew a charge of having a firearm with intent to endanger life.

At Belfast Crown Court on Friday, Harbinson confirmed to Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland that he had received the papers in the case from his former instructing solicitor.

Asked had he read the papers in the case, Harbinson, who was standing in the body of the court aided by a single crutch, replied: “No.”

Judge McFarland said he had read a number of letters Harbinson had previously handed into court regarding issues surrounding legal aid and his current medical condition.

He said he was not prepared to grant legal aid in the case, adding: “If you are not happy you can go and see a solicitor and make a new application for legal aid and I will consider that application.”

The judge said he would allow the defendant some time to read the papers in the case and set the non-jury trial date for June 4.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.