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4th Jul, 2022

Leamington man who caused fire by building 'baby bomb' called 999

A LEAMINGTON man ‘building a baby bomb’, with aerosol cans and a microwave, ended up dialling 999 after setting the kitchen on fire.

Before he did so, George Moore knocked on his sleeping housemate’s door, then called the emergency services to tell them what he had done.

Moore of Cubbington Road, Lillington, was jailed for three-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered and possessing a bladed article.

Prosecutor Jonathan Barker said when the fire crew put out the kitchen fire before finding a microwave in the garden, connected to a socket in the kitchen, with burned firelighters in it.

But the fire had been started by a second microwave in the kitchen, in which Moore had put aerosol cans and a metal colander before switching it on.

Moore, who was unsteady on his feet and smelled of alcohol, was found to have a lock knife on him and admitted starting the fire but said he had not intended to harm anyone.

A Snapchat video was found of him putting the aerosol cans in the microwave, with the caption ‘building a baby bomb,’ and saying: “I hope it’ll explode soon or I’ll be disappointed.”

Still recording, he left the kitchen and shut the door, and when he opened it again, the fire could be seen.

His housemate said he had been woken by Moore running around and a fire alarm going off.

He said although Moore knocked on his door, he did not say anything to warn him, but the housemate smelled burning so left the house.

Mr Barker added a fire investigator established the aerosol cans in the microwave oven had created an explosion which started the fire..

Graham Henson explained Moore suffered mental health problems and received little professional support.

He added: “To an extent he’s been let down by the system, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. But he seems to be doing well in prison, perhaps because he has the structured environment he yearned for.”

Sentencing Moore, Recorder Robin Sellers told him: “You placed aerosol cans and metal articles in a microwave over in accommodation provided by the Plato Trust, and this caused a fire from a small explosion.

“You shared that house with another individual and you knew he was around.

“You called 999 and calmly reported that you had been trying to make a bomb, and that your companion may also have been in the premises. I accept you also knocked on his door, but you did not tell him what you had done. “It is particularly aggravating that you were hoping to cause an explosion, and that this was in a domestic context.

“You suffered a head injury as a teenager and you have been diagnosed as having seizures, and are on the autistic spectrum, and you have potentially not received the assistance you could have done.”

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