Lincolnshire

Woodhall Spa mustard gas accused summonsed to court

Gas canister Image copyright Lincolnshire Police
Image caption About 150 mustard gas canisters were found in woodland and in a lake near Woodhall Spa

Three people are due in court accused of possessing mustard gas and dumping canisters of the noxious substance in a lake in Lincolnshire.

It comes after 150 canisters of the highly noxious substance were unearthed in and around Roughton Woods, near Woodhall Spa, in October 2017.

The two men and one woman are due to appear at Lincoln Magistrates' Court on 15 August, police said.

One of the men, Martyn Tasker, is also accused of having a Bren machine gun.

Image copyright Lincolnshire Police
Image caption The canisters are believed to date back to the site's use as a military base

Mr Tasker and Michaela Tasker, both of Longdales Road, Lincoln, and Stuart Holmes, of Witham Road, Woodhall Spa, are accused of possession of mustard gas canisters and discharging the noxious substance into nearby Stixwould Lake.

Police declared a "major incident" after the canisters were first discovered on the former military base at Roughton Woods.

Army bomb squad officers were called in and further testing was carried out at the specialist Porton Down military research laboratory.

Mustard gas was used as a weapon during World War One and outlawed by the Geneva Protocol of 1925.

Two people were treated in hospital for minor burns and respiratory problems when they unearthed the canisters while digging for vintage bottles in the woods.


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