Today, 28th June 2021, 32 year old Niall Lehd, from Larne has been given a 24 year prison sentence at Belfast Crown Court, after pleading guilty in June of this year to one count of preparation of terrorist acts.
He will serve 24 years in prison and 5 years on licence. Upon his release from prison Lehd will also be subject to Terrorist Notification conditions for 30 years.
Detective Chief Inspector Griffin said: “The charge relates to the discovery of a number of hides at Larne and surrounding areas between March and September 2016. Undoubtedly these finds amounted to one of the most significant seizures of munitions in recent years in Northern Ireland. The sheer volume of weapons and component parts found in these hides had the capability to cause serious harm. The length of this sentence demonstrates the consequences for anyone who gets involved in this type of offending which there is no place for in today’s society
“I would very much like to thank the members of the public who first alerted Police to these hides. This clearly demonstrates the vital role communities have in support of their Police Service.
“Today Northern Ireland is a safer place following the discovery of these hides. We will continue to work tirelessly to keep people safe and act on any information given to us by members of the public.”