NI ammo from 'batch used in UK murders'

Published Monday, 02 December 2013
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A detective constable has told the Magistrate's Court in Derry that Yugoslavian made hand grenades found in a city centre flat last December came from the same batch used to murder two female police constables in the Greater Manchester area last year.

NI ammo from 'batch used in UK murders'
The scene of the security alert in the city centre last December. (© UTV)

Constables Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were killed in a grenade and gun attack in Hyde, Greater Manchester, on 18 September, 2012.

In court, a PSNI officer said similar grenades were found in the attic of Gary Pius McPhillip's flat in Hawkin Street which was searched by the police on 20 December, 2012.

McPhillips, 29, has been in custody since police found the two grenades as well as a sub-machine gun and a pistol, both with sound moderators, 54 rounds of ammunition and quantities of ecstasy and methadrone in the attic.

The police witness said he was opposing an application for bail by McPhillips.

He said that last month the applicant's brother, Mark McPhillips, 34, from Elmvale in the Culmore area of Derry, was jailed for seven years for smuggling £800,000 of herbal cannabis into Derry from Holland, via the Republic of Ireland.

"Our belief is the applicant has a history of involvement in his brother's affairs and has the same access to forged documents which his brother had when they both travelled to Spain and Holland", he said.

He told District Judge Barney McElholm that the applicant has served jail sentences for drugs offences both in Northern Ireland and in Belgium and he believed "the applicant has access to properties in Spain and Holland".

The police witness described the weaponry and explosives found in the attic above the applicant's flat as "lethal" and added that his international investigation into the case was continuing.

Dismissing the application, the District Judge said he was "somewhat surprised that in this jurisdiction people other than paramilitaries have this weaponry."

He said given the applicant's previous drugs convictions together with the seriousness of the charges he currently faced "he would have every incentive to flee if granted bail".

The case was adjourned until 12 December.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Taxi Paul in Belfast wrote (139 days ago):
Mr District Judge yes people other than paramilitaries have 'this weaponary'. These people are called criminals. Paramilitaries are also criminals. The police also have guns. In face the only people who do not have weapons are the law abiding citizens. The starange thing is, that the way things are going they are the ones who need them
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