Ex-mayor John Larsen convicted of setting off dangerous explosions in his own neighbourhood

Town councillor got a "thrill" from setting off the blasts

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The Independent Online

A former mayor who had an "active interest in pyrotechnics" has been found guilty of setting off dangerous explosions in his own neighbourhood.

Town councillor John Larsen got a "thrill" from setting off the blasts, some of which sent ball bearings and metal shrapnel flying up to 90ft (27m) away.

Larsen, 46, of Lenten Pool, Denbigh, North Wales, was on trial at Caernarfon Crown Court charged with three counts of arson and one count of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or cause damage to property. He was also charged with possessing explosive substances.

Today a jury of six men and six women found him guilty of all the charges.

The trial heard that Larsen made his own Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which he used to blow up a car near his home and was the man behind a string of explosions which had been causing fear in the community.

In his opening address, Wyn Lloyd Jones, prosecuting, told the jury that, after Larsen's arrest on April 19, this year, police found files on his home computer containing research notes about how to make explosives and that he was actively "experimenting".

One file was named "gunpowder mix" while another was named "experimentation" - that file contained notes about charges, fuses, flash powder, "rockets and shells," and notes about various chemicals.

The court was told that, just days after the files were created, explosions were reported in the Lenten Pool area.