London

Tube bomb suspect Damon Smith will not give evidence

Damon Smith Image copyright Twitter
Image caption The defendant lived with his mother in south-east London

A student accused of building a bomb and leaving it on a London Tube train will not give evidence at his trial.

Damon Smith denies making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life, but he admitted perpetrating a bomb hoax.

The 20-year-old allegedly packed a rucksack with explosives and ball-bearing shrapnel.

He then left it on a Jubilee Line train and timed it to go off within minutes, the Old Bailey was told.

A psychiatric report read to the court confirmed the defendant had an autistic spectrum disorder.

Mr Smith told Dr Ian Cumming he had a long-standing interest in weapons, bombs, guns, knives and knuckledusters.

'Moe funny'

When he was 10, he said he looked up how to make a bomb and when he was 14, a friend showed him the Anarchist Cookbook, jurors heard.

He told the doctor he liked making bombs because it was "something to do when he was bored".

The court heard the former altar boy also said he was interested in Islam and collecting Star Wars figures.

He told the psychiatrist he had thought about putting a bomb in a park but decided a train would be "more funny" to delay passengers. He also had no concept it might cause harm, jurors were told.

In YouTube videos played to the court, he was seen showing off his perfume collection while in another he demonstrated how to draw Bart Simpson.

Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Damon Smith has a keen interest in guns and other weapons, the court heard

Jurors have heard Mr Smith, from Rotherhithe, south-east London, referred to an al-Qaeda article as he put together the device with a £2 clock from Tesco.

A shopping list for "pressure cooker bomb materials" was also allegedly found on an iPad, ending in a note to "keep this a secret between me and Allah #InspireTheBelievers".

CCTV showing his journey on the Underground as he left the bomb on 20 October last year has also been shown in court.

Halloween

When he was arrested he admitted making the device, but said he had only meant it to spew harmless smoke as a prank.

In his closing speech, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said the crux of the case was what the device was supposed to be - an explosive or to "produce a little bit of smoke".

He said Mr Smith, who is originally from Devon, had told police that it was Halloween coming up and he wanted to play a practical joke using "bits and pieces around the house".

But Mr Rees told jurors there were similarities with the bomb described in the al-Qaeda article and Mr Smith had gone to the trouble of buying the ingredients, which suggested more planning was involved.

Image caption North Greenwich station was closed for several hours and Jubilee Line trains were disrupted

Mr Smith's lawyer, Richard Carey-Hughes, announced his client's decision not to give evidence after the prosecution closed its case.

Judge Richard Marks told jurors they could draw such inferences from his failure to go into the witness box as they saw fit.

He said they would probably begin deliberating on Wednesday once the defence closed its case.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites