Police waiting to quiz bomb suspect
9:30am Tuesday 15th January 2013 in Local
AN ALLEGED bomb-maker who blew off part of his hand has been named as Martin Middleton.
The 26-year-old, who is in a “stable” condition in hospital, has also been arrested following the explosion.
It is understood police are waiting to speak to him.
Forty houses had to be evacuated in Lea Gate, Harwood, after a homemade bomb exploded at about 1.20pm on Sunday.
Police searched two other properties in Tonge Moor as part of the investigation but no explosive items were found.
It is understood Mr Middleton had been making a pipebomb, although it is unclear as to the motive behind it.
Officers went to a house in Hartfield Walk, Tonge Moor, on Sunday, which is thought to be where Mr Middleton’s mother lives.
He had recently moved to Lea Gate with his girlfriend, Kay Emerson, who The Bolton News understands is pregnant.
Shocked neighbours in Hartfield Walk spoke of their shock after hearing about the explosion in Lea Gate.
One, who asked not to be named, said: “He is a bit of a rogue. I am really shocked, I would not have expected that at all.
“His girlfriend is pregnant and I thought he was getting back on the straight and narrow.”
Another, who also wanted to remain anonymous, added: “The police were here last night and curtains were twitching.
“I did not really know him but I hope he is ok.”
Mr Middleton’s injury is described as a “serious hand injury” but it is not life threatening. The Bolton News understands he has lost some of his fingers.
Det Ch Insp Sarah Jackson, said: “I appreciate that given the nature of this incident and the impact it had on those living in Lea Gate there will be some concern among residents, but I want to reiterate that this was an isolated incident and there was not and is not any threat to the wider community.
“We are continuing to investigate the circumstances leading up to this incident and if anyone has any information that can assist I would urge them to get in touch.”
Mudasir Dean, ward councillor for Bradshaw, said: “ I am sure the police will get to the bottom of this.
“We must find out why this bomb was built. The consequences could have been devastating if a more sizable device would have detonated in this residential area.”
Mr Middleton has been arrested on suspicion of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property.