A MAN who caused an explosion using a deodorant can and lighter fluid after threatening to blow up Leamington police station sent shrapnel flying for more than 20 metres.
Warwick Crown Court heard how Darrell Parker had previous convictions for a bomb hoax and for sending an abusive message threatening to blow up another police station.
The 48-year-old had earlier pleaded not guilty to having articles in Hamilton Terrace, Leamington, in December last year with intent to destroy or damage property.
On that occasion a judge questioned why he had been charged with that rather than an arson offence, and Peter Grice, prosecuting, replied: “Because it caused an explosion.”
Following an adjournment, Parker of Hearthway, Banbury, changed his plea to guilty and admitted a further charge of arson being reckless whether the life of another was endangered.
Prosecutor Tom Schofield said that at 8.30am on December 13, Glen Wright, a civilian member of staff, was in the front office at Leamington police station when Parker walked in.
He was rambling, and after having discussion with Mr Wright he left threatening to return and bomb him.
“The officer felt it was a flippant remark, but contacted the town centre CCTV staff. An hour and a quarter later police heard a bang, and they were notified there had been an explosion outside.
“They went to the junction of Rosefield Place and Hamilton Terrace, where people said they had seen the defendant with some form of device, and the police found lighter fluid and a deodorant can.”
The description given of the person responsible matched that of the man who had gone into the police station, and Parker was found as he waited at Leamington railway station for a train home.
He was arrested then interviewed and said he was in Leamington to meet his estranged daughter but went into the police station to warn them he was in town because of how he behaves when drunk.
And he added the way he had been treated by the officer made him threaten to blow up the police station and a petrol station.
At an earlier hearing, the court heard Parker’s previous convictions included threatening to blow up a police station in 2006, a bomb hoax in 2007- for which he was jailed – and a further threat to blow up a police station in 2011 when a judge at Oxford Crown Court gave him a community order.
Judge Richard Griffith-Jones questioned the charges Parker had admitted, asking how destroying his own property could be an offence.
Of the arson charge, he said: “This is bizarre behaviour, and it is worrying. But whose life would be endangered by blowing up a deodorant can?He is someone who may need to be detained, but I’m worried whether he’s committed criminal offences.”
The judge chose to adjourn the case and remanded Parker in custody.