A man and a woman have appeared in court accused of having a viable explosive device.

21-year-old Ross Hardy and Rebecca Jane Gallagher Gregory (20), confirmed they understood the charges against them at Banbridge Magistrates Court, siting in Newry.

Mr Hardy, of no fixed address in Lurgan and Ms Gregory, from Woodview Park in Tandragee, are jointly charged with possessing explosives under suspicious circumstances.

Hardy faces a further charge of possessing an explosive device under suspicious circumstances, 20-year-old Ms Gregory was also accused of possessing class B cannabis.

The charges arise after an improvised blast bomb device was found on Saturday at a property in Woodview Park.

Bomb disposal experts made the device safe and recovered it for further examination.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court the device was uncovered in a kitchen cupboard, adding that Ms Gregory’s three children, all under four, were present in the house at the time of the seizure.

Ms Gregory admitted having the small amount of cannabis and claimed that a male she refused to name had given her the bomb to hold about three weeks beforehand, further claiming she 'felt frightened' of him.

She later admitted to knowing the bomb was in the cupboard.

The lawyer revealed however that Hardy had confessed to building the bomb 'approximately a year ago' at Lovers Lane in Tandragee.

He admitted to police that “he had found himself in difficulty, physically around that time - he had been picked on in fights” so he had built the bomb “intending to use it, if required, to frighten people who sought to fight him,” the lawyer said.

An investigating officer confirmed that the couple had no paramilitary connections.

Mr Hardy was denied bail while bail was granted for Ms Gregory.

Both are due to appear in court again on December 17.