Former mayor John Larsen ‘experimented with IEDs’ and got thrill from explosions, court hears


A former mayor interested in pyrotechnics made his own Improvised Explosive Device and got a “thrill” from setting off explosions in his own town, a court has heard.

John Larsen, who was mayor of Denbigh in north Wales in 1999 and had been working as a Liberal Democrat town councillor up until his arrest, used an IED to blow up a car near his home and was behind a string of explosions which had been causing fear in the community, Caernarfon Crown Court was told.

Prosecuting barrister Wyn Lloyd Jones said police found files on Larsen’s home computer containing research notes about how to make explosives and that he was actively experimenting. One file was named “gun powder mix” while another dealing with charges, fuses, flash powder, “rockets and shells,” and notes about various chemicals – was named “experimentation”. The court was told that just days after the files were created, explosions were reported in the Lenten Pool area.

Mr Lloyd Jones said it was “fortunate indeed” that nobody had been injured by the biggest explosion caused by the IED on 24 March, which sent ball bearings and metal shrapnel flying up to 90ft away  from the blast zone, smashing windows of nearby property and damaging cars.

The court heard that Mr Larsen, who denies charges including arson and causing an explosion with intent to endanger life, had also been reporting his “concerns” about explosions to the police to fool them. The case continues.