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A man who amassed an arsenal of weapons including explosives, knives and rocket mortars has been jailed for 30 months.

Simon Flint was arrested after a row with youths near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in June in which he pointed a loaded crossbow at them.

He had earlier admitted affray and possessing a prohibited weapon.

Teesside Crown Court heard the 42-year-old, of Meadowfield Drive, Eaglescliffe, had a fixation with weapons.

After his arrest, police searched a camper van in which he was living and found a “significant collection” of weapons, which also included swords, pepper spray and chemicals that could be used to make improvised explosive devices.

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, told the court police searched his electronic devices and found videos of him blowing up an apple, a cucumber and a laptop computer.

He told police he thought the effect was “hilarious”, but he understood it may be illegal.

The court heard he told officers he had a fascination with “making things go bang”.

‘Unorthodox interests’

Flint had got into a row with some youths and when a dog walker went to be a peace-maker, the defendant pointed his crossbow at them, Mr Perks said.

Mr Perks said Flint was found to possess a number of stab vests, adding: “I think these acquisitions stem from a skewed sense of his need to defend himself.”

Mark Styles, defending, said: “His unorthodox interests have led to the situation he is now in.

“We have to concede he is certainly eccentric but he is not mentally ill.”

Judge Howard Crowson jailed him for two-and-a-half years, giving Flint credit for his guilty pleas.

Outside court, Gary Fotherill of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Flint appears to have been motivated by a compulsion to master the technical process of constructing improvised explosive devices and to use these to blow up inanimate objects for his own entertainment.”

BBC News

A MAN has pleaded guilty to a number of charges in connection with the possession of weapons and explosive making equipment.

Simon Flint had a huge collection of weapons, including more than 100 knives, improvised explosive crossbow bolts and a catalogue of components to build his own bombs, including potential pipe bombs.

The 42-year-old was due to stand trial this morning after being charged with seven offences following a police operation in Bishop Auckland on Friday, June 28.

However, this morning he pleaded guilty to three charges – affray and two charges of possession of explosive substances. He had already pleaded guilty to a number of offences at Durham Crown Court.

olyon Perks, prosecuting, said the defendant accepted that he had acquired the parts needed to construct an improvised explosive device.

He added that the defendant used improvised devices to blow up fruit and a laptop computer.

Mr Flint, who has an address at Meadowfield Drive, Eaglescliffe, but is understood to have lived in a campervan for a number of years, was charged with making threats to kill, possession of an explosive substance, two charges of possession of offensive weapons, possession of a weapon for the discharge of pepper spray, two charges of possession of a bladed article in public and a public order offence.

Among the items listed in the charges were three crossbows, a friction locking baton, lock knives and swords including one measuring 2ft long.

The precision engineer is also accused of possession of an explosive black powder, a weapon designed to discharge a noxious gas or liquid – namely pepper spray, and of using abusive, threatening or insulting words or behaviour to cause alarm.

Judge Howard Crowson adjourned the case for sentence and remanded Flint into custody.

He said: “We have admitted your offences and the next stage is sentencing but we will want to that right and it can be a little complicated, this piece of the law, so the lawyers are going to make sure they help me as much as they can and get this right.”

Stephen Bracher had been working on 17 other devices, police said

Stephen Bracher had been working on 17 other devices, police said

A man found with a 9kg (20lb) fertiliser bomb under his bed has been jailed for 40 months.

Unemployed amphetamine addict Stephen Bracher, 55, had been working on 17 other devices when he was arrested in January, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Bracher admitted three counts of having explosive substances, one of possessing a lock knife and one of possessing amphetamines.

Police found jottings which indicated extreme hatred of black and gay people.

In some he expressed intentions of killing people, the court heard.

Bracher's house was "full of weaponry" including machetes and knives

Bracher’s house was “full of weaponry” including machetes and knives

Royal Navy explosives experts removed the explosives from his home in Bishops Tawton, near Barnstaple, after the raid on 24 January.

The property was also “full of weaponry” including machetes and knives, police said.

The ammonia sulphate fertiliser bomb, when exploded under controlled conditions, left a large hole in the ground.

Police said fertiliser bomb and the other devices could have caused “extensive damage”.

Det Insp Phil Gray said: “He had disassociated himself from society.

“He enjoyed making his own explosives to see how loudly he could get them to go bang.”

Bracher told police the explosives were fireworks.

Neighbours and friends of Bracher spoke of an unemployed loner who spent hours with a metal detector by the nearby River Taw.

There he would search for finds which he would take to Barnstaple Museum.

He had a “genuine” interest in local history and was not in it for money, said one museum worker.

Bracher was the eldest of three children and lived in the area all his life, said friend Mike Davis, who has known him since they were teenagers.

Last year Bracher’s builder brother Alan died, which had affected him “severely”, said Mr Davis.

Mr Davis said: “He was a very reasonable person, no trouble maker.

“He didn’t want to do damage to anyone – he’s not a terrorist kind of person, he wouldn’t harm anyone.”

The almshouses where Bracher lived are reserved for people aged over 45 with local connections.

Neighbour Glyn Seal said it was a “big surprise” when the almshouses, with their manicured lawns and clipped hedges, were raided and Bracher was arrested.

“It’s a quiet community and the people in the almshouses are very quiet,” he said. “You never hear anything from them.”

BBC News

David Pirie, 27, packed an explosive with petrol, nails and pieces of concrete and left it outside the home of Alexander McCluckie

David Pirie (pictured), 27, left the explosive device outside the window of terrified Alexander McCluckie

David Pirie (pictured), 27, left the explosive device outside the window of terrified Alexander McCluckie

A thug who left a nail bomb outside his neighbour’s home in a row over claims his girlfriend was running a brothel has walked free from court.

David Pirie, 27, left the explosive device packed with petrol, nails and pieces of concrete outside the home of terrified Alexander McCluckie.

Mr McCluckie stayed next door to Pirie’s girlfriend Louise Stewart in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, but relations soured when she made a malicious call to the SSPCA about Mr McCluckie’s dog.

Months later police arrested Miss Stewart after they were told she was operating a brothel but she was released without charge.

Pirie suspected Mr McCluckie had called police and smashed his front window and left a glass bottle, which had a strong smell of fuel coming from it, and a lighter outside.

Pirie was arrested and his DNA was discovered on the bottle.

But days before he was due in court, he fled to Tenerife for almost a year before returning to Scotland.

Pirie, of Bailleston, Glasgow, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court and admitted leaving the makeshift bomb at the flat in August 2015 and failing to appear in court in June 2017.

He was spared jail by Sheriff Shiona Waldron and told to perform 150 hours of unpaid work.

Depute fiscal Vish Kathuria said: “The complainer looked out of his window and observed the brick but also observed a glass bottle which contained fluid, nails and a bag protruding from it and noted a lighter next to it.

“He formed the view that what had been left was a petrol bomb and he could also smell fuel coming from the bottle and contacted police.

“The bottle was later dismantled and found to contain nails, fragments of concrete and fluid which was later found to be petrol.

“The accused’s partner was later interviewed and was asked what she knew about the bomb and replied ‘I didn’t know he had actually done it, he told me about it and I was like that is a bit far’.

“The bomb was analysed forensically and DNA from the accused was found on the top of the bottle.

Brazen Pirie used social media to boast of his carefree lifestyle in Tenerife and shared dozens of snaps showing him partying with groups of friends who seem unaware he was avoiding justice back home.

In one photo, he is seen posing with boxers Carl Frampton and Steven Ward as they enjoyed a break away from the ring.

Others show him holding a bottle of Buckfast, playing mini-golf and relaxing on the beach in the sunshine.

Sheriff Waldron said: “You have no previous convictions and this was an extremely foolish incident made much worse by your failure to appear when you were supposed to.

“You have already spent a considerable time in custody relating to that matter and you will be admonished.

“In relation to you acting in a threatening manner by placing an amateur pseudo petrol bomb which fortunately did not do any harm to anyone, you will carry out unpaid work as a direct alternative to custody.”

Daily Mirror

Peter Morgan had denied the charges

Peter Morgan had denied the charges

A man found in possession of explosive items and extreme right-wing paraphernalia at a flat in Edinburgh has been today (Thursday 16th August 2018) been jailed.

At Edinburgh High Court on Friday 13th July 2018, Peter Morgan was found guilty of two offences under the Terrorism Act 2000 and one offence under the Explosive Substances Act 1883.

Officers were conducting enquiries into the death of a teenage woman, who was found unconscious within a stairwell at a block of flats in Taylor Place in July 2017, when Morgan’s offences were discovered.

As part of officers’ enquiries into the full circumstances surrounding her death, entry was forced to the 35-year-old’s property.

During the search of the flat, officers became aware of extremist material and Police Scotland’s Organised Crime & Counter Terrorism Unit (OCCTU) were immediately called in to investigate, supported by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

A number of items, which could be used to construct an explosive device, were seized along with phones and computer equipment.

Following analysis of these, it was established that Morgan had been researching racist content and information on constructing explosives online.

Morgan was arrested and has been remanded in custody since this time. At Edinburgh High Court, he has now been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Detective Inspector Jackie Gilfillan from OCCTU said: “The sentence handed to Morgan reflects the serious nature of his crimes and the commitment of both Police Scotland and the Crown Office to removing extremist threats.

“While Morgan had not created any viable devices within his home, the intent to construct an object that could cause serious harm and fear within our communities was clear.

“The national Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) campaign recognises the important role the public have to play in preventing terrorism and, whenever such individuals come to our attention, a thorough investigation will be undertaken to bring them to justice.

“While on this occasion we were able to prevent any danger to the public, I’d encourage anyone with concerns about a person viewing extremist or terrorist material to report this to Police Scotland on 101 or to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.”

Police Scotland

Morgan was photographed at a white pride rally in Manchester in 2015

Morgan was photographed at a white pride rally in Manchester in 2015

A right-wing extremist caught with a bomb-making kit in his Edinburgh flat has been sentenced to 12 years in jail.

Explosive powder, fuses and a glass bottle studded with lead shot were found when police raided Peter Morgan’s home in Meadowbank last July.

During his trial a bomb disposal expert told the court the material could have been turned into an explosive device capable of causing horrific injuries.

A Nazi flag, far-right literature and terrorist training manuals were found.

Judge Lord Boyd told the 35-year-old the charges he had been convicted of threatened “the safety of the public, our values as a democracy and strike at the dignity and respect which all members of our community are entitled to expect whatever their race or religion”.

He will spend a further three years under supervision at the end of his 12-year sentence.

Lord Boyd told Morgan at the High Court in Edinburgh: “You have been convicted of two charges under the Terrorism Act and one charge under the Explosives Substances Act 1883.

“You assert your right to freedom of speech. However abhorrent some may find your views, you are entitled to hold them.

“What you are not entitled to do is to act on these views for the purpose of committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

“Of most concern is that you not only possessed the ingredients for the making of an improvised explosive device but you had begun to assemble it.”

The judge said it was clear the jury at Morgan’s earlier trial had rejected his claim during his evidence that he only planned to blow up a frozen turkey and film it for YouTube.

Lord Boyd pointed out that while Morgan had told a social worker who prepared a background report that he would never collect such material again, he did not disavow his political views.

Police also discovered that Morgan had downloaded an international application form to become “a loyal white knight of the Ku Klux Klan”.

He had amassed a collection of neo-Nazi, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic and racist material at his home.

Peter Morgan had denied the charges

Peter Morgan had denied the charges

Morgan’s trial heard that he was “quite proud” to be part of the Scottish Defence League and travelled with others from the far right group to attend a white pride rally in Manchester in 2015.

He was photographed at the march with his hood up carrying a Scottish saltire flag and holding a “white pride worldwide” poster.

Morgan had earlier denied committing offences under the Terrorism Act and Explosives Substances Act but was found guilty of three offences.

Between April 2012 and July last year at his flat in Taylor Place, in Edinburgh, he possessed items which gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that it was for a purpose “connected with the commission, preparation of instigation of an act of terrorism”.

The court heard emergency services originally attended at the block of flats where he lived on 2 July 2017 after a young woman collapsed and was found to have no pulse.

A resident said that she previously saw the woman at Morgan’s flat and police decided to force entry because of concern for others.

No one was in the flat at the time but officers noted drugs paraphernalia such as needles and scales and the premises were secured. Morgan was later seen nearby.

A large quantity of commercial fireworks were found, some of which had been taken apart.

A dagger bearing the symbol of an eagle mounted on a swastika was recovered under a sofa in the living room.

Defence solicitor advocate Brian Gilfedder said Morgan had an “atrocious” upbringing, had spent time in care homes and foster placements and began abusing drugs at the age of 11.

He told the court: “He is not shy about the political and social views that he said he legitimately holds.”

Fuses were among the things found in Morgan's possessions

Fuses were among the things found in Morgan’s possessions

BBC News

The vice president of the Aryan Strikeforce has become the fourth member of the white nationalist organization to plead guilty to a role in a scheme to transport weapons and drugs across state lines.

Steven D. Davis, 46, of Bumpass, Va., Friday entered his plea in U.S. Middle District Court to a charge of possession of firearms by a convicted felon. He remains detained pending sentencing.

He admitted in early October 2016 he traveled from Virginia to Potter County with a shotgun and a 9mm pistol and gave them to another strikeforce member who had served 10 years for aggravated assault.

Strikeforce members met in Potter County in September and October of that year, Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel said.

The three who previously pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge are Joshua Michael Steever, of Manville, N.J., Connor Drew Dikes of Silver Spring, Md., and Henry Lambert David of the Allentown area. None of them has been sentenced.

They admitted taking part in planning meetings in the Harrisburg area with undercover FBI employees and in 2017 participating in the transportation of imitation crystal methamphetamine and machine gun parts from Pennsylvania to Maryland.

As he has done at previous court proceedings involving strikeforce members, Rocktashel cited the organization’s stated mission “to protect the honor of our women, children and the future of our race and nation” using violence as a necessary tool.

Of the six indicted, only Jacob Marks Robards of Bethlehem and Justin Daniel Lough of Waynesboro, Va., are awaiting trial.

Lough is fighting his indictment accusing the government of outrageous conduct by conceiving, planning and directing the scheme. Rocktashel alleges Lough was a willing participant.

Penn Live