Man with imitation AK47 'lucky not to have been shot' says judge
A man who was seen posing with imitation weapons was 'lucky not to have been shot' District Judge Barney McElholm has said.
Conan Harkin (27) of Bluebellhill Gardens in Derry was charged with two counts of having an imitation firearm in a public place namely Abercorn Road on December 5.
A police officer connected Harkin to the charges and opposed bail.He said police received a report of a male with a firearm in the Abercorn Road area at around 1.45am.
They responded and a member of the public showed police film footage of the defendant with a long barrelled weapon like an AK47.
Police located Harkin nearby and he had his back to police and when they told him to turn around he did so.
He was shirtless and had his jacket open and a pistol could be seen in his waistband.
The officer said that 'luckily' Harkin complied with police and the weapon was taken from him. At interview he admitted having the imitation weapons which he said belonged to a friend he refused to name.
The officer said Harkin had only been released from police custody the day before on an unrelated matter.Defence solicitor Derwin Harvey said his client had not offended since 2015 and since then had secured employment and entered a relationship.
However, recently he had lost his job and the relationship had ended and when this offence occurred he was 'exceptionally intoxicated'.
The solicitor said his friend had put images on Facebook of Harkin with the imitation weapons. He said Harkin's behaviour was 'reckless, foolish and stupid' but added there was ' nothing sinister' about it.
Harkin was released on bail to an address approved by police and will appear again on January 2.
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