Teenager from St Annes was obsessed with explosives

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A teenager who had explosives and fuses at home was so obsessed with fireworks that police took him to visit the fire brigade.

READ MORE: St Annes teenager in explosive court hearing

Matthew Bird, 18, of The Boulevard, St Annes, was sentenced after a probe was launched when frightened residents heard a loud explosion on a street in St Annes.

Prosecuting, Paul Cummings, said neighbours called police after hearing a loud bang in a garden on July 4.

Preston Crown Court heard on that occasion he was found to be in possession of 65 homemade fuses and shavings.

The explosive powders and fuses were seized from his address along with “concerning diagrams”.

However there is no suggestion, despite fears at the time, that there is any link to terrorism.

Police, who were aware of his interest, had even intervened and taken Mr Bird, who has learning difficulties, to a local fire station to learn about the dangers of fireworks.

Officers revisited the home he was sharing with his mum and brother at the time, with a support worker on August 24, but found a further packet of black explosive powder - which the defendant says they “missed” the first time.

Bird pleaded guilty to having explosive materials in circumstances giving rise to suspicion he did not have them for a lawful reason.

Judge Andrew Woolman made an order he had to live with his dad for two years, and imposed a curfew and two years community order.

He said: “The authorities have tried early on to stop you doing it by talking to you and taking you to the fire brigade.

“But because of your difficulties you didn’t understand the message.

“You can’t just manufacture your own fireworks because you need a licence to do so.

“You are living with your father and I know there have been difficulties but you seem to be getting along.

“The main thing is there are some controls over your life.”