A leading north Belfast loyalist was today imprisoned for six years on firearms charges.
Andre Shoukri, 26, from Sunninghill Gardens was convicted at Belfast Crown Court of having a firearm in suspicious circumstances.
Shoukri, a senior figure in the paramilitary Ulster Defence Association, was also convicted of having a firearm and ammunition without a certificate, although he was acquitted of the most serious charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Lord Justice McCollum ruled Shoukri must serve six years in jail for having the firearm in suspicious circumstances and two years each, to run concurrently, for the possession of a firearm and ammunition without a certificate.
The trial heard the loyalist was found in possession of a semi-automatic pistol with 30 rounds of ammunition when police stopped a car in which he was a passenger emerging from the Rathcoole Estate in September last year.
Shoukri denied the charges and claimed he obtained the gun for his own protection after receiving news of a death threat from Ulster Freedom Fighters leader Johnny Adair.