A retired chemical analyst who made an explosive of the type used in the 7/7 bombings has avoided jail.
David Taylor’s home in Golcar was raided last year after an internet service provider alerted police that he was buying chemicals online.
The 71-year-old had used his purchases to make two types of explosives - hexamethlyene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), which was used in the 7/7 bombings, and pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN).
But Leeds Crown Court heard today (Wednesday) that he has no political or religious affiliations and merely made them as a ‘hobby’.
Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said: “These chemicals are unstable and cause serious damage and harm if they do indeed explode.
“These chemicals have no commercial use because they are obviously dangerous.
“Comments from experts indicate that any amount of friction, heat or impact could cause an explosion and they are very volatile chemicals. They should only be used in a controlled environment.”
Police and the army explosive unit searched his home on April 1, 2016.
Taylor, who previously worked as a chemical analyst at Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) and studied chemistry at Huddersfield Polytechnic, admitted that he had a keen interest in fireworks and said he was using the chemicals to make fireworks.
The court also heard that he had been making fireworks from the age of six and was “from a different age when you could buy fireworks over the counter.”
He had started to apply for an explosives licence through the Home Office but had not completed the application.
Taylor, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to two counts of making explosive substances at a plea and case management hearing on September 6.
Sentencing him to a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work, Recorder Michael Wheeler said: “One of these explosives was used in one of the worst terrorist attacks we have known in recent years. It has been illegal to obtain for a number of years now.”
He added: “Your naivety was bordering on somewhat close to recklessness. You need to be a lot more careful in regards to your hobby in the future.”
The judge also made a forfeit and destruction order for any remaining chemicals seized from Taylor’s house to be destroyed and he was ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge.