Jail time for man caught with submachine gun after travelling to Belfast from Dublin

Vincent Kelly pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life

Vincent Kelly

Undated photo of Vincent Kelly | Image: PSNI

A 31-year-old man who was caught with a submachine gun after travelling to Belfast from the Republic has been jailed for nine years.

Vincent Kelly was travelling in a taxi along Grosvenor Road when he was stopped by police on November 20th, 2014. Kelly had gotten into the vehicle after disembarking a bus from Dublin in Belfast city centre. 

He was arrested after officers found a reactivated and modified PPS43 submachine gun, three magazines and 50 rounds of ammunition inside his black sports bag.

An examination of the weapon found it could only be fired on fully automatic mode, meaning bullets could be continually shot until the trigger was released. 

Image: PSNI

Kelly, formerly of Hawthorn Street in west Belfast, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Detective Chief Inspector Gillian Kearney welcomed the sentence, which was handed down today by Belfast Magistrates' Court.

"Lives have undoubtedly been saved due to the work of officers in Serious Crime Branch, supported by our colleagues in An Garda Siochana," she said.

"Those who follow a path of violence need to realise that their activities will inevitably lead to serious consequences for themselves."