Detectives from Serious Crime Branch have welcomed the sentences imposed on two men following the recovery of a semi automatic rifle and an explosive substance in Londonderry two and a half years ago.
On Tuesday 2 August 2011, police stopped a car driven by Mark Anthony Kerr (26) in the Abercorn Road area of the city. Tony Michael Taylor (45) was located close to the area of the vehicle stop and following a search of the car, police recovered a semi automatic rifle and a length of detonator cord. Police believe these items were intended to be used in a dissident republican attack.
At Laganside Court today Taylor, of Bishops Street, was sentenced to eight years (three in custody, five on licence) for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. Kerr, from Carranbane Walk, was sentenced to six years (2.5 in custody, 3.5 on licence) for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of explosives under suspicious circumstances.
A spokesman for Serious Crime Branch said: “We should all be thankful that those in possession of these items were prevented from using them. Police will continue to combat the threat posed by dissident individuals and groups who plan to use violence to further their agendas.
“We would encourage people in the community to continue to work with us to reduce the threat posed by such reckless individuals so that we can bring them before the courts.”