Belfast man jailed seven years after Semtex, detonators and guns found

Kevin Nolan was charged with several terrorism-related offences

Belfast man jailed seven years after Semtex, detonators and guns found

Gun and ammunition seized by the PSNI | Image: PSNI

A man from west Belfast has been sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to a number of terrorism-related offences.

46-year-old Kevin Nolan was also handed a 15 year notification order at Laganside Crown Court.

He was arrested at an address in Sunderland, England in September 2015 following a search of his parents' home in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast.

This uncovered a significant quantity of explosives, firearms and ammunition - as well as a black coat and balaclava.

Ammunition seized by the PSNI | Image: PSNI

The items found included 651g of Semtex, approximately 400 rounds of ammunition, two handguns, one silencer and two detonators.

651g of Semtex seized by the PSNI | Image: PSNI

Police say the Semtex found was enough to make three "substantial" under-vehicle improvised explosive devices.

Detonator seized by the PSNI | Image: PSNI

PSNI Detective Inspector Adrian Brown said: "Our intelligence-led search operation uncovered a significant cache of explosives, weapons and ammunition all hidden in various rooms within the family home.

"At this stage Kevin Nolan was living in England so PSNI detectives, assisted by officers from North East Counter Terrorism Unit and Northumbria Police, arrested him under the Terrorism Act and brought him back to Northern Ireland for interview during which he claimed he had no knowledge or involvement with these items.

Gun and silencer seized by the PSNI | Image: PSNI

"At one stage he said he had found a bag containing the cache while walking alone in the city cemetery.

"He said he seen two men, one of who was carrying a large plastic bag, which they left at a hedge.

"Kevin Nolan stated he had taken the bag believing it contained drugs or money and he didn’t know there were firearms and munitions until he looked inside once he had arrived at his parents’ home where he lived at the time."

At a later date, police say he then claimed he had been approached to keep the items while working as a taxi driver at an office on the Springfield Road.

He said at first he had refused the request - but then agreed and hid the items in his parents’ house.

"During the investigation we were able to link Kevin Nolan’s DNA to the explosives and firearms, as well as the balaclava which was found with a black coat. Forensic swabbing of this black coat revealed traces of Semtex in the pocket", Detective Inspector Brown said.

He was then charged with a number of offences including two for possession of explosives, three for possessing firearms and two relating to terrorism.