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Community service for man who kept grandfather’s rifle for ‘sentimental’ reasons

An order was made for the destruction of the firearm which court was told was not in working order and in poor condition

Craigavon Magistrates Court

A Portadown man has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service after he was found in possession of his grandfather’s rifle without a certificate.

The district judge told the 47-year-old’s solicitor: “Northern Ireland and firearms – just a few years ago and your client would have been going to prison for this.”

William Andrew McDade, of Clendinning Way, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm without a certificate at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

It was heard that on January 11, during a search of the defendant’s home, officers located a 303” calibre rifle in the roof space of the property.

Examination of the firearm found that it was not in working order and was in poor condition.

McDade made full admissions to police and accepted not holding a certificate for the rifle.

Defence solicitor Siun Downey stated: “Mr McDade did previously have a certificate for another weapon but the gun in question was not just owned by his father but his grandfather before him.

“He had it for sentimental reasons, it was kept in a glass cabinet.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “Northern Ireland and firearms – just a few years ago and your client would have been going to prison for this.

“Whilst I understand this set of circumstances, nevertheless, you should know Northern Ireland has particularly strict laws on firearms.”

District Judge Kelly ordered the destruction of the rifle and sentenced McDade to 100 hours of community service.

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