Phone analysis still needs to be completed by cops investigating loyalist Winston Irvine over alleged discovery of guns and ammunition in his car, court heard

Phone analysis has yet to be completed by detectives investigating the alleged discovery of firearms and ammunition in the trunk of loyalist Winston Irvine’s car, a court heard today.

Scientific work on the transport of weapons seized in Belfast earlier this year is also continuing, prosecutors have revealed.

With no other outstanding parts of the police investigation identified, a judge said progress had been made in the case.

Irvine, 47, of Ballysillan Road in the city, is currently out on bail on charges relating to the discovery made in the city on June 8.

He is charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition in suspicious circumstances, possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of a handgun without a certificate and possession of ammunition without a certificate.

A second man, Robin Workman, of Shore Road in Larne, Co Antrim, faces the same charges.

Police say Workman, a 51-year-old carpenter, transported the weapons in his van to a meeting with his co-defendant in the Glencairn area.

Following an alleged interaction between the two men, Irvine’s car was pulled over shortly afterwards at Disraeli Street.

Officers discovered two suspected pistols, an air pistol, magazines and more than 200 rounds inside a Calvin Klein leather holdall in the trunk of the vehicle, according to the prosecution.

Irvine denied knowing anything about the contents of the bag.

Despite initial claims that he might be connected to a mixed DNA profile on a handle of the tote, further testing ruled him out as a possible contributor.

Irvine was released on bail last month on the condition that he allow detectives access to his cellphone.

At Belfast Magistrates’ Court today, a Crown counsel presented an update from the police.

“The officer said the forensics is exceptional (and) the phone analysis,” she said.

“They said they hoped the same would be received around mid-September.”

The prosecutor added: “That’s all, I understand, which is exceptional.”

After the briefing, District Judge Mark McGarrity observed, “That’s progress.”

Adjourning the case for four weeks, he said: ‘We will be able to find out whether the telephone analysis is in progress or not.

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