A ROSSENDALE man has appeared before Blackburn magistrates charged with firearms offences which the prosecution claim are linked to organised crime.

Stephen Flatley, 54, of Crabtree Avenue, Waterfoot, is charged with conspiracy to convert de-activated weapons into activated firearms.

He is also charged with the possession of a Zastava 9 mm Luger semi-automatic pistol, an Ingram Sub Machine Gun, a 9 mm Parabellum self-loading hand gun, a Hungarian FEG SA85M assault rifle, a Tigre Winchester rifle and a CZ bolt action rifle.

The conspiracy was alleged to have taken place between April and May 2019 and the possession offences between the same dates, the court heard.

No pleas were entered and he was sent in custody by magistrates to Burnley Crown Court where he will appear for a preliminary hearing on October 17.

Andrew Robinson, prosecuting, said that one of the weapons involved in the case had been used in a shooting in Salford in 2018.