Guilty to possessing liquid mercury in Lurgan

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A Co Armagh man has pleaded guilty to two terrorist-related offences, including possessing a bottle of liquid mercury in Lurgan.

Gabriel Mackle (40), from Glebe Hill Manor in Tandragee, was to have gone on trial in Antrim to face four charges involving the possession of explosive substances and a firearms offence.

However, following a lengthy adjournment, Mackle pleaded guilty to two charges – possessing explosive substances, namely mercury, on August 7 last year with intent to endanger life, or to enable someone else to do so. He also admitted possessing ammunition, again with intent. The other charges were not proceeded with.

Although no details were outlined yesterday, the High Court has heard Mackle was stopped on a motorcycle in Lurgan. A search of a rucksack he was carrying uncovered 20 rounds of ammunition and the bottle of liquid mercury.

The court also heard similar substances had been used in the past to make tilt switches for improvised explosives and booby-trap devices. Mackle was remanded into custody for sentence at the end of May. Gabriel Mackle (40), from Glebe Hill Manor in Tandragee, was to have gone on trial in Antrim to face four charges involving the possession of explosive substances and a firearms offence.

However, following a lengthy adjournment, Mackle pleaded guilty to two charges – possessing explosive substances, namely mercury, on August 7 last year with intent to endanger life, or to enable someone else to do so. He also admitted possessing ammunition, again with intent. The other charges were not proceeded with.

Although no details were outlined yesterday, the High Court has heard Mackle was stopped on a motorcycle in Lurgan. A search of a rucksack he was carrying uncovered 20 rounds of ammunition and the bottle of liquid mercury.

The court also heard similar substances had been used in the past to make tilt switches for improvised explosives and booby-trap devices. Mackle was remanded into custody for sentence at the end of May.