Lincoln
November 9, 2020 1.34 pm

Trial date set for former Lincoln PCSO over homemade explosive charges

Police suspended her while awaiting trial

A civilian Lincolnshire Police worker charged with having an explosive device, modified firearms and illegal butterfly knives at her home is set to face a jury trial next year.

Former Lincoln PCSO Zoe Watts, 34, was arrested last month after police searched her semi-detached house in St Helens Avenue in the city.

Watts appeared before Lincoln Crown Court on Monday via video link from custody.

No charges were put to her during today’s 20-minute hearing and a bail application was adjourned to a later date.

Judge John Pini QC set a provisional trial date for May 17 next year. The trial is expected to last five days.

Watts, who was represented by barrister Nick Fooks, was remanded in custody.

When Watts was arrested Lincolnshire Police said officers discovered a quantity of chemicals and a number of weapons.

Nearby residents were evacuated for a number of hours and a bomb disposal team was called out to carry out safety checks before the all clear was given.

Zoe used to be a PCSO before moving into a different role within the force. | Photo: Facebook

Watts was a member of the Bracebridge Lowfields Community Police Team working in the south of Lincoln.

She has been suspended by the force pending the outcome of criminal proceedings and an investigation.

She was also a trade union activist serving as the equalities officer for the Lincolnshire Police UNISON.

Watts, who has worked for Lincolnshire Police for nine years and had moved to a civilian role by the time of her arrest.

She was committed to the Crown Court facing six charges. They are:

  1. On October 4, 2020 knowingly had in her possession or under her control an explosive substance, namely an Improvised Explosive Device, under such circumstances as to give rise to the reasonable suspicion that she did not have it in her possession or under her control for a lawful object, Contrary to Section 4 (1) of the Explosive Substance Act 1883.
  2. On October 4, 2020 had in her possession a firearm which was disguised as another object, namely a Kelon K95 Stun Gun disguised as a mobile phone, Contrary to Section 5(1A) of the Firearms Act 1968.
  3. On October 4, 2020 had in her possession a firearm which was disguised as another object, namely a taser disguised as a mobile phone, Contrary to Section 5(1A) of the Firearms Act 1968.
  4. On October 4, 2020 had in her possession a weapon adapted for discharge of a noxious liquid, gas or other thing, namely an electric fly swat adapted to discharge an electric current towards another person, Contrary to Section 5 (1) (b) of the Firearms Act 1968.
  5. On September 5, 2020 imported a prohibited weapon, namely a butterfly knife, Contrary to Section 50 (1) and (3) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.
  6. On September 5, 2020 imported a prohibited weapon, namely a butterfly knife, Contrary to Section 50 (1) and (3) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

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