Derryman on firearms and drugs charges granted bail

A 27-year-old Derry man has appeared in court charged with possessing firearms and drugs with intent to supply.

Stephen Radcliffe of Dunluce Court was charged with possessing a sawn off shotgun and a .32 pistol with intent on February 28 last.

He also faced a charge of possessing Class B drugs with intent to supply on the same date.
Radcliffe was connected to the charges and a detective told the court that police found the items in Radcliffe's flat and when he became aware of the police search, he fled the jurisdiction for three months.

She opposed bail on thje grounds that he might flee again.

Solicitor Kevin Casey put it to the detective that Radcliffe had told police he was in fear of the people who came to his flat and told him he would be keeping the items, she agreed that is what Radcliffe had said.

She also agreed he was in full time employment and had a young daughter who he had been unable to see for the three months he was out of the jurisdiction.

Mr. Casey said his client left due to fear and handed in two references to the court from a priest and a lecturer at a local university.

He said these events had had a 'catastrophic' effect on Radcliffe's life and that he was willing to abide by any conditions set by the court.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that the desire to see his daughter had outweighed Radcliffe's fear of  'these sinister people.'  He released him on his own bail of £500 with two sureties of £500, ordered him to observe a curfew and wear a tag.

The prosecution said they would be appealing the decision and that it would go to the High Court in Belfast,but that appeal was later withdrawn.