Man 'planned poison attack on bus' in Surrey

A mentally-ill man had "violent fantasies" about causing a deadly poison attack on a bus in Surrey, a court has been told.

Duncan Railton, 41, of Cranmer Close, Warlingham, had the ingredients for a viable chemical weapon at his home, Guildford Crown Court heard.

His fantasies were revealed during sessions with psychiatrist James Ovens.

Mr Railton denies two charges of possessing dangerous or noxious things and making threats to kill.

Start Quote

He was planning to kill and cause serious physical harm to numerous members of the public”

End Quote Graham Smith Prosecutor

The jury was told that when police raided his home last October he was found to have 98 different chemicals, including some that could make chlorine gas.

Chemicals found would also have potentially allowed him to make cyanide gas, the court heard.

Taking the witness stand on the first day of his trial, Dr Ovens recalled how Mr Railton had spoken of using VX nerve gas on a bus in Caterham.

Mr Railton also claimed he had carried out a chlorine attack on an assembly while at school aged 14 or 15, but it merely made a few people slightly ill from the fumes, the jury heard.

'Fantasies and voices'

Dr Ovens said his patient boasted of having the equipment and researching how to make chlorine, the poison ricin and VX.

Mr Railton also spoke of revenge attacks targeting people who abused him as a teenager and their families.

The court heard evidence of his research was later found on his computer.

Jurors were told Dr Ovens broke patient confidentiality and notified police, leading to Mr Railton's arrest on 4 October.

When interviewed by police, Mr Railton produced a prepared statement, writing that they were fantasies and he never intended to hurt anyone.

He also claimed "voices" had taken him over while he spoke to Dr Ovens, but that they "couldn't make him do anything".

The court heard Mr Railton had been receiving mental health treatment since 2007.

It was also told that he is HIV positive, which he claims is as a result of sexual abuse by a "homosexual paedophile gang" as a child.

'Stash of chemicals'

He had been taking anti-psychotic drugs earlier in 2012 but had stopped because they had side effects which gave him a heart condition.

Graham Smith, prosecuting, told the jury: "He was planning to kill and cause serious physical harm to numerous members of the public.

"He was planning to do this by releasing a chemical on public transport - he thought most likely a bus.

"He said [to Dr Ovens] he had a large stash of chemicals at his home address. He appeared to be excited at the idea of the death and destruction they would cause."

Defence barrister George Hepburne Scott raised the psychiatrist's use of the word "fantasy" to describe what Mr Railton told him.

"I wouldn't say the word fantasy means there is no chance of action, [or] that it is just thought," Dr Ovens replied.

The lawyer also pointed out that it was the first time Dr Ovens had met Mr Railton, so had not had the chance to build up a long term picture of his personality.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

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