14-year-old charged with attempt to purchase sub-machine gun

The court heard the boy left school at break-time - allegedly to attend a meeting about a sub-machine gun and ammunition

14-year-old charged with attempt to purchase sub-machine gun

File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated 13:40

A 14 year-old boy has appeared in court in County Antrim charged with trying to buy a sub-machine gun on the dark web.

The boy was surrounded by his father and three police officers at Ballymena Magistrates' Court this morning.

He was arrested in Coleraine on Thursday following a police operation.

Dressed in a grey hoodie and red T-shirt, the child listened on as a detective outlined the accusations against him.

The court heard he had left school at break-time - allegedly to attend an arranged meeting about buying a PPSh43 sub-machine gun.

Police had been monitoring the attempt to purchase the weapon and the boy allegedly handed over cash for ammunition to an undercover operative - believing he could then go on to buy the gun.

It is claimed he wanted to intimidate someone with the firearm.

The boy has been charged with attempting to possess the machine gun and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

He is one of the youngest people ever to appear before Ballymena’s adult court.

District judge Liam McNally said the charges were very serious and if found guilty, the boy could be sentenced to life in prison.

The boy – who cannot be named due to his age - has been released on bail and will appear at another hearing later this month.