Horwich post box bomb accused 'had Al-Qaida article and terrorists' explosives handbook'

The Bolton News: Ian Merrick Ian Merrick

AN Al-Qaida magazine article and the Mujahidin Explosives Handbook were found on a computer pen drive discovered at the home of a man accused of planting a home-made bomb in a postbox.

There were also hundreds of pages of information about making explosives on the pen drive found in Iain Merrick’s flat in Cheriton Gardens, Horwich, in October 2011.

Det Sgt Russell Stubbs, from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, told a jury at Manchester Crown Court that the pen drive contained a folder titled “Dangerous”.

He said: “There were various different files, many of which referred to explosives and bomb-making, that kind of thing.”

These included an article containing a diagram and instructions on how to make a pipe bomb from a 2010 issue of the terrorist publication “Inspire” and other documents, including The Anarchist’s Cookbook and the Mujahidin Explosives Handbook, which detailed how to handle chemicals, the methods used to make explosives and how to avoid detection.

Benjamin Myers, defending, said: “It is not being suggested that he is some sort of Al-Qaida operative.”

DS Stubbs detailed a series of scribbled notes found in 38-year-old Merrick’s flat which appeared to refer to bomb making procedures and information about his neighbour Sylvia Taylor and her family and friends as well as Royal Mail employees he is alleged to have had a grudge against.

The prosecution claims that Merrick had a vendetta against Royal Mail workers, who he accused of delivering his post to his neighbour.

On April 15, 2011, a home-made bomb, containing matchstick heads and metal fragments was found by postman Ian Platt in a postbox in Winter Hey Lane, Horwich.

Six months later, schools received letters containing indecent images of children with the names and occupations of two Royal Mail employees on the back of them.

DS Stubbs told the court that analysis of a Blackberry mobile phone belonging to Merrick showed he had a fascination for the Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, and had made internet searches for nude images of her.

A memory card in the phone also contained more than 3,400 images, the majority of which were pornographic, including some of children.


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The jury also heard an account of the interview police held with Merrick on October 30, 2011, after he had been arrested on suspicion of distributing indecent images of children.

During the interview he complained he was receiving mail at his home addressed to other people and admitted that he had done research on the internet to find the home addresses of Royal Mail workers.

Merrick denies sending an explosive substance, 16 counts of making indecent images of children, one count of possessing indecent images of children and four counts of distributing indecent images of children.

The trial continues.

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