Postbox bomb suspect: 'I've blown myself up a couple of times'
A MAN accused of planting a homemade bomb in a postbox outside Winter Hey Lane post office said he had “blown himself up a couple of times” when practicing explosive experiments in his kitchen.
Ian Merrick also said he had made a mini pipe bomb using a cannabis bong and pipes at his home in Cheriton Gardens, Horwich, during his trial at Manchester Crown Court.
Giving evidence, Merrick said he was experimenting with the chemical used in gun pellets, when he accidentally mixed it with other substances.
He said: "I have blown myself up a couple of times, I learned the hard way.
“I was making a cup of tea when the chemicals mixed and blew my hand back.
“It really hurt — if anything it brought home what you are messing with.
“I wasn’t making an improvised explosive device.”
During his evidence Merrick also stated that he only read the article from Al Qaeda magazine Inspire, which was discovered in his flat following a police investigation, as part of wider reading around the subject of chemistry.
In his defence he said: “What I will do with a subject is learn as much as I can until I get bored with it.
“If anything what you learn is how dangerous it is. You don’t walk down the street with a bomb in your pocket.”
The court heard how Merrick, who is unemployed, had a history of depression and memory problems associated with medication he took to prevent anxiety attacks.
He began experiencing problems with his post in 2008, when he says his upstairs neighbour would take his post.
He asked for his post to be redirected to another address for six months, and went to the depot with a picture of his neighbour to ask postmen not to give their post to her.
In July 2010 he began getting post addressed to Ms Taylor to his home and made several complaints to the post office.
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Merrick said: “It could range from three to four letters a week to 30 a day, more than that.
“I did go down to the depot but they said they are not allowed to hold onto any mail.”
Merrick would constantly carry a voice recorder in his pocket — which would record every conversation he had — and researched the postmen he spoke to online through Google and the electoral role.
The trial continues.