Court in County Antrim hears 'imitation firearm' is a 'toy gun'

Court in County Antrim hears 'imitation firearm' is a 'toy gun'

AN 'IMITATION firearm' allegedly waved at neighbours by a Larne woman was a "toy" gun, a court has heard.

Details emerged at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, regarding Denise Martin (60), of Drummond Court, who is accused of possessing a 'firearm or imitation'.

She is also accused of cultivating cannabis at Drummond Court.

The accused is further alleged to have assaulted two people and allegedly made a threat to damage windows at an address at Drummond Court.

The charges relate to October 23, 2021.

The defendant is in custody after being unable to perfect bail.

Recently a court heard it has cost over £5,000 to look after her dog and 30 fish whilst she is on remand in custody,

That court was told it is costing £10 a day to look after the dog and around £40 a day for the fish at  £1.50 a day per fish.

The defendant has been in custody since October after being unable to perfect bail.

A defence lawyer told the earlier hearing the case allegedly involved "waving an imitation firearm at a neighbour in a street and then there is a small amount of cannabis growing in her house".

Regarding the defendant's dog and 30 fish the defence lawyer told the recent court a Council had made an application for a "Disposal Order".

He said the defendant "does not consent" to the Order.

At the previous hearing, District Judge Nigel Broderick asked who was looking after the dog and 30 fish while the defendant is in custody and the defence lawyer said: "I believe it is the Council".

A legal representative for a local Council told the recent court that up to that point it had cost around £5,000 to look after the animals - £10 for the dog and £40 for the fish per day.

The Council lawyer had said: "The Council were contacted by police on the date of Ms Martin's arrest and advised that animals were in the property.

"Once they had ensured that the property was not being accessed by anyone else and the animals not being looked after the animals were therefore seized.

"Given that Ms Martin has remained in custody since October we haven't had any approach from anyone willing to assist in the care of the animals so the Council has had to remain their custodian".

The Court heard the dispute about the application will have to be fixed for a hearing.

The Council lawyer said a Council officer and a vet would give evidence.

That matter was adjourned to March 7.

In relation to the 'imitation gun' charge, at a court on February 15 a police officer had the exhibit in court which she showed to Judge Broderick.

She said the exhibit is a "actually a toy".

The officer said when interviewed Martin said it was a "water pistol which shot small pellets and was there for her grandchild to play with".

Judge Broderick said if the 'firearm charge' is withdrawn the defendant still faces other charges.

The judge said: "We are entering into a territory where the defendant may be spending too much time in custody".

The case was adjourned to February 24.