Man caught with explosives claims inspiration from character in novel

Police discovered three 'banger' fireworks with ball bearings and nails taped to them in a car in Glasgow.

Man caught with explosives in Glasgow claims inspiration from character in novel STV News

A man caught with explosive devices in his car claimed he was inspired to make them from a character in a book.

James Curran was arrested in the Carntyne area of Glasgow on August 24, 2021.

Police discovered three “banger” fireworks wrapped in black tape in a carrier bag.

Prosecutor Kath Harper told the High Court in Glasgow: “Each of these items had ball bearings and nails taped to the fireworks.

“Officers retreated and maintained a ten metre cordon away from the devices.”

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts were called to the scene “given the potential danger of the improvised explosive devices (IEDs)” and the cordon extended to 100 metres.

Curran meantime claimed the items “would not harm anyone”.

He also initially said a friend had asked him to make them for Bonfire Night, but had not picked them up.

The devices – described as “potentially viable” IEDs – were made safe.

Ms Harper said they could have caused injury to people and damage to property if ignited.

The nails and ball bearings would have been propelled “rapidly” acting as “missiles”.

First offender Curran, of the city’s Cranhill, pled guilty to being in possession of the three IEDs.

He had a not guilty plea accepted for a charge that he had a walking stick which had three hidden blades.

His lawyer John Scullion KC said: “His position is he got the idea for making the devices from a character in a novel he was reading in which this individual made similar devices.”

The defence advocate added Curran had put them in his shed which he later cleared out after splitting from his wife.

He had planned to “dispose” of them, but they remained in his car for almost a year until he was stopped by police.

Mr Scullion said it was “not the case” Curran had any link to terrorism or organised crime.

The KC said: “He is somewhat eccentric individual who set himself a challenge to manufacture the devices he had read about in a novel.”

Lord Doherty remanded Curran in custody as sentencing was deferred for reports until next month in Edinburgh.

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