Connor Ward admits explosives charges after Banff evacuation

Connor Ward Connor Ward is set to be sentenced in December

A man has admitted explosives charges after an incident which saw people evacuated from their homes in an Aberdeenshire town.

Connor Ward, 20, of Banff, bore a grudge against his father, who had fathered a child by his son's young ex-girlfriend, a court heard.

Ward told police "voices in his head" were telling him to kill his father.

Judge Lord Uist called for background reports, including a formal psychological assessment.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that when police raided Ward's home they found an array of chemicals together with recipes for making explosive devices.

Start Quote

The chemicals found had the potential to produce an explosive substance if mixed together and ignited”

End Quote Tim Niven-Smith Advocate depute

Neighbours had to be moved from their homes while Ward's flat was searched.

Advocate depute Tim Niven-Smith, prosecuting, said Ward had made repeated threats which were not taken seriously.

Eventually his mother found "The Do-it-yourself Gunpowder Cookbook" on a table.

She noted down the names typed on the labels of bottles in the flat and took the note to police.

Mr Niven-Smith continued: "The police at Banff thereafter consulted with specialists and it was established that the chemicals found had the potential to produce an explosive substance if mixed together and ignited."

On 18 May an exclusion zone was set up.

'Key ingredients'

The exclusion zone had "a significant impact" as local residents were evacuated from their homes for a long period, Mr Niven-Smith said.

Police at the scene Police were called in after the alert in Banff in May this year

At the same time, other officers visited Ward in Aberdeen's Royal Cornhill Hospital, where he was a voluntary patient, and he told them he intended to use a bomb to kill his father

Mr Niven-Smith said the bomb disposal squad found no trace of "a viable explosive device" but confirmed that the chemicals could be "key ingredients".

They also found ball bearings and nails which could have been used as shrapnel.

Ward admitted a breach of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act by making threats, and possessing explosive substances in suspicious circumstances.

Sentence was deferred until December.

More on This Story

Related Stories

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

BBC North East, Orkney and Shetland

Weather

Lerwick

Min. Night 10 °C

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.