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Matthew Glynn had an "obsession" with explosives and weapons, police said

Matthew Glynn had an “obsession” with explosives and weapons, police said

A bomb-maker who had a dartboard featuring images of Barack Obama, the Duchess of Cambridge and the popstar Cheryl has been jailed for five years.

Matthew Glynn had an arsenal of weapons including Samurai swords, axes and knives at his home in Horfield, Bristol.

He kept a viable improvised explosive device (IED) underneath his bed.

Glynn, 37, previously pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court to five charges of making an explosive substance.

The court heard more than 6kg (13.2lb) of explosive powders, as well as other chemicals used for bomb making, were stashed in his property.

Glynn also bought a Wolverine-style weapon with four sharp blades, described as “horrific” by police.

A multi-bladed arm knife was found at Glynn's home by police

A multi-bladed arm knife was found at Glynn’s home by police

Sentencing him, Judge Peter Blair QC said: “There were large quantities of explosives which would have endangered life if they had have gone off.

“Police discovered a dartboard that you’d described to a work colleague as a board of people you hate.”

The judge said Glynn “had an interest in groups demonstrating anti Islamic sentiment” but material he posted on social media showed “more of a confused mind than a careful planning mind”.

Controlled explosions were carried out on the devices during a four-day evacuation of the area around his home in July.

Work colleague James Grogan tipped off police after seeing knives at Glynn's home

Work colleague James Grogan tipped off police after seeing knives at Glynn’s home

Glynn’s work colleague tipped the police off after he visited his house and saw swords and weapons.

James Grogan, who worked with Glynn at kitchen joinery Howdens, said the warehouse worker had joked when he sat on his bed that he was “sitting on a bomb” and had demonstrated racist and homophobic views.

Following the sentencing, Det Insp Dave Lewis said police were still not clear why Glynn had so many weapons and what he intended to do with them.

“That he had amassed this arsenal of weapons with such extensive dangers is very worrying,” he said.

Police said Glynn had never indicated why he was stockpiling explosives like this homemade bomb

Police said Glynn had never indicated why he was stockpiling explosives like this homemade bomb

BBC News

Kevin Crehan arrived just as a corrupt prison officer was busted

Kevin Crehan died at HMP Bristol in Horfield

Kevin Crehan died at HMP Bristol in Horfield

HMP Bristol was awash with illegal drugs and phones when an inmate who died of an overdose was first transferred there – because a corrupt prison officer had been smuggling them in, an inquest has heard.

The scale of the drugs problem at the Horfield prison was laid bare at the inquest into the death of Kevin Crehan – by the very person in charge of security at the jail.

Crehan, 35, died in late December 2016, just weeks after being transferred to the Horfield jail.

The first day of a two-week inquest into his death heard he died of a drugs overdose thanks to a cocktail of five prescription drugs, particularly methadone and diazepam.

An inquest jury heard he had been ‘doing well’ in his efforts to get off drugs during the first months of his sentence, served at Guy’s Marsh Prison in Dorset.

The inquest was told he was transferred to Bristol Prison on the last day of November 2016.

Giving evidence to his inquest was Joanne Hadden, the head of security at HMP Bristol, and she was cross-examined by Mikhael Puar, representing the Crehan family.

He asked her exactly how illegal or illicit drugs found their way into the prison.

She described numerous various ways in which drugs enter the cells, and said that at the end of November 2016, just days before Crehan arrived, a prison officer had been discovered smuggling around £20,000 worth of drugs and phones into the prison to sell to inmates.

That prison officer was subsequently sent to prison themselves, for two and a half years.

It meant that, at around the time Crehan arrived, prisoners had little trouble getting their hands on illegal drugs.

Ms Hadden said that this corrupt route had meant an end to the long-standing practice of friends and family throwing illegal drugs over the walls of the prison, a strategy that had returned in the months after that corrupt officer’s supply route was busted.

But she said that there had been other suspicious officers or staff at the prison. She spoke of other people whose work brings them into the prison, about whom there had been intelligence or suspicion.

“There have been members of staff who don’t work within the prison staff themselves who, while they haven’t been arrested, have left or stopped working there and there’s intelligence that there’s a route that has ended,” she explained.

Mr Puar asked if there was a particular problem at Bristol Prison of staff ‘turning a blind eye’ to prisoners accessing or taking drugs.

“You would like to think not but I’m not naive,” said Ms Hadden. “It’s not large scale though.”

It wasn’t just corrupt staff or civilians who brought drugs in.

“Prisoners can be paid thousands of pounds to return very quickly when they are released on licence, so that they can keep the drugs coming in on the inside,” she said.

“They will be released on licence but then make sure they do something which will mean they are arrested and returned to prison, but will have drugs hidden on them.

“Other routes into the prison are from people throwing them over the wall. In those packages will will be phones and drugs,” she added.

Ms Hadden said that visitors to the prison will bring drugs and phones in, and they have increasingly found that drugs like spice will be secreted within paper sent as letters.

“We found this was happening so acted to stop it. Now instead they will send drugs in legal letters to prisoners, which we are not allowed to open, so we have to check with the individual solicitors’ office to check they actually did send this letter or not

“We’ll close down a route and a new route will open up. It’s a continuing problem we have to face.”

The problem of the tide of drugs entering HMP Horfield has been well-documented before, but has been put into the spotlight with the inquest into the death of Kevin Crehan, which began on Monday.

Toxicology tests revealed Crehan had five prescription drugs in his system: Methadone, diazepam, mirtazapin, gavepentin and pregabalin.

Only one of those – methadone – he was actually prescribed, and even then, both the toxicologist and the Home Office pathologist told the inquest it was likely, on the balance of probabilities, the amount of methadone in his system indicated he’d taken extra on top of the 60mg a day he had been prescribed.

The inquest continues.
Bristol Post

37-year-old carpenter Matthew Glynn faces life in prison for turning his home into a bomb factory

This is the face of the man who turned his Horfield home into a bomb factory.

Matthew Glynn, 37, appeared at Bristol Crown Court today, October 31 and despite being due to face trial entered five guilty pleas to making an explosive substance between January 1, 2016 and July 24, 2018.

Glynn now faces a maximum of life in prison for his crimes which caused his street of Filton Avenue, Horfield evacuated for two nights running.

Matthew Glynn posted this image of himself on social media

Matthew Glynn posted this image of himself on social media

The bomb squad descended on the area after a member of the public contacted the police and officers swiftly evacuated nearby homes.

Calling in the army disposal experts (EOD), they were able to enter the house and found what they referred to at the time as “suspicious items” at the property.

Glynn was later charged for making four explosive devices which were described in court today.

One was called a bomb, another a tennis ball filled with low explosive, a hand-held device covered in ball-bearings was also found. Emergency services also found a cylindrical-shaped bomb.

Matthew Glynn admitted making bombs at his home in Filton Avenue, Horfield

Matthew Glynn admitted making bombs at his home in Filton Avenue, Horfield

He has also admitted the same charge relating to explosive powder.

Roads were quickly blocked off and an investigation got underway to make the area safe again.

Filton Avenue was then cordoned off from 5pm on July 23, until late that night.

Although the bomb squad had return to the area the next day and evacuate residents for a second night after more suspicious items were found in Glynn’s attic.

Bristol Post

His killers have been jailed for life with minimum terms totalling 34 years

The family of murdered Andrew Groves made a loving tribute to him on the day his killers were jailed.

Russell Oakey and Michael Dommett both received life terms today (July 26). Oakey, 42 and of Hanham High Street, was convicted by a jury and Dommett, 38 and of Oakhanger Drive, entered a guilty plea part way through a trial.

Bristol Crown Court heard 47-year-old Mr Groves sustained a brutal beating in a house in Oakhanger Drive, Lawrence Weston, which was then set on fire.

 Michael Dommett (left) and Russell Oakey. Both have been jailed for life for murdering Bristol dad Andrew Groves. (Image: Avon and Somerset Constabulary)

Michael Dommett (left) and Russell Oakey. Both have been jailed for life for murdering Bristol dad Andrew Groves. (Image: Avon and Somerset Constabulary)

‘A devoted family man’

As the case concluded Mr Groves’ family said: “The sentence these two men will get will be never enough for us as a family. For we will never see our dear Andrew again.

“Andrew was a kind and loving son, a truly beautiful person, and was loved by so many people.

“He was a hard-working and devoted family man and his sudden death has been devastating to his wife, his son Lewis and daughter Molly.”

The family also thanked the emergency services who first attended the scene, and made desperate attempts to revive Mr Groves.

The statement adds: “We would also like to say thank you to Avon and Somerset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, who had over 70 people working on the investigation.

“Without them and their hard work and professionalism we would not be here today.

“We would also like to say a very special thank you to three amazing people who have given us their support, compassion and help during this very difficult time – DC Hilary Bolland, DC Carol Doxsey and Krissy of Victim Support.

“Once again thank you to you all.”

‘Daddy’s girl’

The court today heard statements from Mr Groves’ family.

Mr Groves’ daughter Molly was 17 when her dad was murdered. She said she was a “daddy’s girl”, her dad was very affectionate and would help his children with their homework.

She said: “Dad was always really proud of me and my brother.”

She remembered going to the cinema with her dad, with his large Coke and nachos, looking happy. When her dad died she felt scared and didn’t know what to do, she said.

She thought Mike Dommett had been her dad’s friend, and she couldn’t understand why anyone would want to hurt him.

She found life after the killing very difficult, she said, but wanted to attend court for the trial to hear what happened and listened to awful things. She described her dad as a family man who was always smiling.

Andrew’s father Barry said Andrew was born at Southmead Hospital and when he saw him for the first time he was the most beautiful baby he had ever seen. He last saw him four days before he was murdered and he was his “usual, cheerful self”.

When Mr Groves was told of a murder inquiry regarding his son he thought: “Why would anyone kill my son? He’s never had an enemy in my life.”

He said he had to identify him at a mortuary and even though he had sustained horrendous injuries he was still his beautiful son.

He said: “That day my life, and that of Andrew’s family and friends, changed for ever.”

Mr Groves said the sadness would live with his family for ever.

The deceased would always do anything for his children, he said, and they missed their loving, generous and hard-working dad.

He said: “I’m devastated I will never see my beautiful son again. I hope those found guilty of his murder get the maximum the court can give.”

Mr Groves son wanted him as best man

Andrew Groves’ son Lewis was 25 when he learned of the death of his dad.

Today the court heard how he went to his dad’s home and found police at the scene. He said his dad was his best friend and they had a very special relationship. He said his dad would have been his best man at his wedding but he never got the chance to ask him. Since the murder he has felt so much negativity, he said.

He said he found it hard to look at motorbikes, knowing how much his dad liked them. He said the intention to set light to his dad was hard to hear

‘We are the ones serving a life sentence’

Louise Groves, Andrew’s former wife, said Andrew was kind, happy and had the biggest heart. She said his life was his family and loved nothing more than family trips and celebrations. He wanted nothing more than his children to be happy, she said.

She said: “No-one deserves the pure evil inflicted on him. No punishment will ever be enough. We are the ones serving a life sentence.”

Police statement – pair ‘concocted a series of lies’

Senior Investigating Officer DI Lorna Dallimore said: “These convictions are the result of a detailed and painstaking investigation by officers and police staff.

“Andrew Groves was subjected to a truly horrific ordeal inside the house in Oakhanger Drive, with a fire deliberately started in an attempt to conceal evidence.

“We were able to prove Michael Dommett, who had taken on the tenancy of this property from his late father, and Russell Oakey were solely responsible for Andrew’s death.

“They concocted a series of lies to distance themselves from the scene of the crime and claimed they’d left Andrew at the property asleep.

“Through a combination of forensic and DNA evidence, analysis of telephone data and ANPR cameras, we were able to expose these lies and prove they were responsible for Andrew’s murder.

“I’d like to thank Andrew’s family for their support of our investigation and I hope these convictions will help them move forward with their lives.”

Bristol Post

An inquest date has been set after Crehan died five months into a year-long jail sentence

A prisoner who was serving time for putting bacon on the door handles of a Bristol mosque died after a drug overdose, it has been revealed.

Kevin ‘Bunny’ Crehan was five-months into his year-long sentence in Horfield Prison when he was discovered dead in his cell.

Emergency services were called to the prison on December 27, 2016 after he was found unresponsive.

Files from the police and a post-mortem report have now been completed after several pre-inquest reviews.

A full inquest will begin on Monday, December 3, and is expected to last more than two weeks.

That means it will be nearly two years before his family finds out how the 35-year-old from Knowle West came by his death.

A post mortem examination heard he had died of a suspected overdose of methadone, a common drug used as a strong painkiller and as a substitute for heroin.

The court was told he had been admitted to hospital while serving his term following a drug overdose.

After he recovered, he was sent back behind bars, but was found dead in his cell shortly after.

A police investigation has now been completed, and they are not treating it as suspicious at this time.

Why was he in prison?

Crehan had been jailed in July 2016 after pleading guilty to an attack on the Jamia mosque in Totterdown in January 2016.

The ‘protest’ saw bacon being placed on door handles, a St George flag tied to the fence and abuse shouted at two elderly people.

Together with three others, the far-right group were charged in court.

Crehan was jailed for a year while Mark Bennett, 48, from Patchway, was sentenced to nine months in prison.

His wife, Alison, 46, was given a six-month suspended sentence for her involvement and Angela Swales, 31, from Brislington, was given a four-month suspended jail term.

The judge who jailed Crehan said he had taken into account the 35-year-old’s history of convictions, including football-related violence.

The group has also been given restraining orders banning them from going within 100 metres of a mosque anywhere in England or Wales for 10 years.

In his summing up, Judge Julian Lambert called it “an attack on England and the principles of freedom of religion”.

Since Crehan died nearly 18 months ago, there has been mounting speculation about the circumstances surrounding his death.

And while police dismissed it as “not suspicious”, it has not stopped several groups of people coming to Bristol to protest his death and sentence.

The latest march took place in Bristol at the end of last month, with dozens joining the ‘Gays against Sharia’ march near Temple Meads.

The Prison and Probation Ombudsman has confirmed a report into Crehan’s death has been concluded and passed to the coroner, although that is not expected to be made public until after the inquest.

Sitting in front of Avon’s senior coroner Maria Voisin, the inquest will look into the circumstances surrounding Crehan’s death, including how and why he died.

Bristol Post

Kevin Crehan (left) and Mark Bennett were part of a group that targeted the mosque in January

Kevin Crehan (left) and Mark Bennett were part of a group that targeted the mosque in January



Two men have been jailed and two women have been given suspended sentences after rashers of bacon were tied to door handles at a Bristol mosque.

During the incident on 17 January, the group shouted racial abuse at a member of the mosque and tied a St George’s flag to the fence of the Jamia Mosque.

Kevin Crehan, 34, of Knowle, was jailed for 12 months and Mark Bennett, 48, of Patchway, for nine months.

Both had admitted religiously aggravated public order offences.

At the Bristol Crown Court hearing, 46-year-old Alison Bennett – the wife of Mark Bennett – was given a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, while Angelina Swales, 31, from Brislington, was handed a four-month sentence, suspended for two years.

‘Worship without fear’

The two women also admitted religiously aggravated public order offences in relation to the targeting of the Totterdown mosque.

All four were given a restraining order preventing them from going within 100m of a mosque anywhere in England or Wales for the next 10 years.

Insp Nigel Colston of Avon and Somerset Police paid tribute to the way the community responded to what happened.

He said: “The way local people came together with overwhelming support for the mosque made me proud to be associated with Bristol.

“There can never be any excuse for hate crime in any shape or form and this criminality will not be tolerated.

“All of our communities have the right to live and worship peacefully without fear of being targeted for their race or religion.”
BBC News

ONE OF the men who admits a racially aggravated attack on Totterdown’s mosque has claimed in court that he didn’t know that bacon was offensive to Muslims.

Mark Bennett, 48, claimed he was not a racist and did not take bacon to the mosque in Green Street on January 17, 2016, intending to cause offence.

Instead, he said, he was trying to raise awareness about the plight of British armed forces veterans and homeless people who he felt deserved more attention.

Bennett, of Spruce Way, Patchway, his wife Alison Bennett, 46, Kevin Crehan, 34, of Springleaze, Knowle, and Angelina Margaret Swales, 31, of West Town Avenue, Brislington, have all pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence at the Jamia mosque.

Bristol crown court was told on June 17 that during the incident racial abuse was shouted at a Muslim man attending the mosque. Raw bacon was thrown and left hanging from the mosque’s railings and an English flag, the cross of St George, was left on the steps with the legend “No mosques, no refugees”, the prosecution said.

But the two men involved denied being racists, said there was no bacon thrown, and they did not hear any racial abuse. They claimed their protest was peaceful. Crehan said it was an attempt to get Muslims to “integrate”. “I grew up in Totterdown and I have got many, many Muslim friends,” he said.

Bennett drew a parallel with charitable activities.

“In my own time I go to the city centre and take coffee and bacon sandwiches to people who live on the streets,” he said.

Judge Julian Lambert asked Bennett if he expected people at the mosque to eat his bacon sandwiches and be grateful for them.

“Possibly,” Bennett replied. The court had heard that Bennett and his wife had bought the bacon and some bread in a £1 shop in Broadmead the same morning. The barrister for the prosecution, Ian Fenney, asked Bennett: “Did you expect people to eat raw bacon?”

“No,” said Bennett. “Where was the bacon going to be cooked?” asked Mr Fenney.

“It possibly could have been cooked in the mosque. I wouldn’t know, would I?” said Bennett.

He added: “I didn’t know that it was offensive to take bacon to the mosque. If I had known I wouldn’t have taken it. Mr Fenney responded: “I suggest you knew exactly how much offence would be caused by taking raw bacon and that’s why you did it. Why was bacon found on the door handles of the mosque? Because any Muslim entering the mosque would have to touch it.”

Bennett told the court he didn’t know the meaning of the word “jihad”.

The court was also told that in 2008 Crehan racially abused an Asian police officer at Broadbury Road police station, after he was arrested at his home during a domestic disturbance. Crehan said he was high on alcohol and drugs at the time but had since given both up.

Bennett was presented with several Facebook pages, posted in April 2016, in the name Marc Bennet, which contained offensive statements about Muslims and references to a recent attack on a mosque.

Bennett said the pages were not his and suggested they had been created to frame him by left-wing activists. He agreed that he had previously had another Facebook page in the name Mark English.

The four will be sentenced at another hearing on July 22, when the two women will be cross-examined.

The attack on January 17 resulted in an outpouring of support for the Jamia mosque, the oldest in Bristol. Hundreds of people attended an open afternoon the following weekend, and hundreds more pledged their support for the mosque being at the heart of the Totterdown community.

South Bristol Voice