Man pleads guilty to setting off homemade ‘bomb’ outside police station

Warwick Crown Court sits at Leamington Justice Centre
Warwick Crown Court sits at Leamington Justice Centre

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.

And Warwick Crown Court has heard that Darrell Parker had previous convictions for a bomb hoax and for sending an abusive communication threatening to blow up another police station.

Parker 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.” The judge observed: “This is a fire in the street including an explosion which casts debris into the street where people were.” But Robert Lindsay, defending, explained: “He says he made sure there was no-one around.”

Following an adjournment Parker, aged 48, of Hearthway, Banbury, changed his plea to guilty and also admitted a further charge of arson being reckless whether the life of another was endangered.

Prosecutor Tom Schofield said that at 8.30 am of December 13 Parker walked into the police station and threatened to return and bomb it.

An hour and a quarter later police in Leamington police station heard a bang, and they were notified there had been an explosion outside.

When Parker was arrested he commented: “It’s only a can of deodorant; it’s a waste of time.”

Judge Richard Griffith-Jones questioned the charges Parker had admitted, asking how destroying his own property could be an offence, observing that if you buy a pen and then stamp on it that is no crime.

And 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 about whether he’s committed criminal offences.”

The judge adjourned the case ‘for the prosecution to set out why these crimes are crimes,’ and remanded Parker in custody.