Pair guilty after guns found in pencil case

Two Cork men have been found guilty by the Special Criminal Court of the possession of two loaded handguns found inside a pencil case.

Anthony Carroll, aged 30, of Curraheen Close, Bishopstown, and his co-accused Brian Walsh, aged 43, with an address at Connolly Rd, Ballyphehane, had pleaded not guilty to the unlawful possession of a Walther pistol, a Smith & Wesson revolver and 12 rounds of ammunition at Deanrock Avenue, Togher, on February 23, 2013.

The non-jury court heard that the loaded Walther and Smith & Wesson handguns were found by gardaí inside a pencil case discovered in a van the men were stopped in. Evidence was heard that Mr Walsh was the driver of the van, while Mr Carroll was discovered by gardaí on the floor in the back, which was partitioned from the driver’s compartment by black plastic.

Both men were wearing forensic suits and a Garda search of the van uncovered a broken mobile phone, rubber gloves, shoes, runners, “a lot of plastic bags”, a wig, a container of bleach, petrol cans and a home- made wick.

The van was registered to a non-existent address in Rathmore, Co Kerry.

Returning judgment yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Butler said that having regard to the circumstances of the arrest of both men, in particular their presence in the same van dressed in a “similarly striking manner”, the court was satisfied that each was aware of the other’s presence and were jointly involved in an enterprise that included the firearms and ammunition.

He remanded Walsh in custody for sentencing on May 9 and Anthony Carroll to Cork District Court, as he is serving a four-month suspended sentence imposed by that court.

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