Real IRA

Real IRA
Dissident republicans

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Real IRA charges Belfast 41 year old charged with explosives

A 41-year-old man from north Belfast has been remanded into custody after appearing in court charged in connection with dissident republican activity.

Raymond James Wootton, of Brompton Park in the Ardyone area of the city, did not respond when asked if he understood the seven charges against him at Belfast Magistrates on Saturday.

He stands accused of having semtex explosives with intent to endannger life or cause damage to property on a date unknown between April 8 2009 and January 10 this year.

Wooton is further charged with having the explosives under suspicious circumstances, having a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver with intent and under suspicious circumstances and with possessing a prohibited CS gas spray.

He is also accused of possessing semtex explosives on July 21 this year.

It is understood the counts relate to police searches linked to dissident republican activity.

Detective Sergeant Lowans said he believed he could connect Wootton to the charges and confirmed to Wootton's solicitor that during the course of 12 interviews, he denied involvement.

The solicitor said while he was not applying for bail, during the police questioning "not one piece of physical, substantial evidence was put to my client that connects him to any of these offences" adding that Wootton would be "strenuously defending and refuting these allegations".

Speaking as up to a dozen cops in riot gear flanked friends and supporters in the packed public gallery, he told the court it was "overkill" on the part of the PSNI as "there's no threat here this morning".

District Judge George Conner remanded Wootton back into custody to appear again on August 19.

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