Published: February 12, 2012
Man collected explosive chemicals 'after watching TV documentary'

The man who caused a bomb scare in Burnham last month has said he started collecting the explosive chemicals after watching a TV documentary on the subject, a court has been told.

Phillip Leonard, 36, pleaded guilty at Taunton Crown Court to four counts of making explosives for an unlawful purpose between December 31st and January 20th.

Bomb disposal experts were called to his former partner’s home in Beatty Way and evacuated dozens of residents after introducing a 100m safety cordon, as we reported here.

The court was told that Leonard came up with the idea when bored after watching a TV documentary on the subject.

When police knocked on his door, Leonard answered it and told officers: "I thought I might get a visit from you."

When asked if he had dangerous substances at the property he said he had two different types of explosives.

Crispin Hayllar, defending, said there was nothing malicious and Leonard only wanted to experiment.

Leonard remains in custody until he is sentenced in the next few weeks. The latest hearing was adjourned so pre-sentence reports could be conducted to help with handing out an appropriate punishment.

FURTHER COVERAGE OF THE BEATTY WAY INVESTIGATION:

Burnham pleads guilty to explosives charges
Police praise goodwill of residents
Burnham resident charged after explosives raid
Evacuation centre praised by residents
Beatty Way cordon lifted by police
Photos of the police investigation in Beatty Way
Recycling collections delayed by police probe
Police confirm incident 'was not terrorism related'
Video of the army bomb disposal team at the scene


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