May 19, 2022 4.00 pm

Lincolnshire man charged with having explosive substances faces re-trial

He denies four charges

A Lincolnshire man charged with having explosive substances faces a re-trial after a jury failed to reach verdicts.

Paul Gary Atkinson, 51, of Queensway, Sturton by Stow, faced a trial at Lincoln Crown Court.

Police and a bomb disposal unit were called to the village in June last year.

Atkinson denied four charges of having an explosive substance contrary to section 4 (1) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883 on June 22, 2021.

The charges related to 21 grams of flash powder, 9 grams of compressed crystalline solid containing potassium nitrate and sugar, 31 grams of flash powder and 3 grams of nitrocellulose based smokeless powder.

A jury at Lincoln Crown Court heard a week of evidence but failed to reach any verdicts after deliberating for over six hours.

The jury were discharged by Judge John Pini QC and Atkinson will now face a re-trial at Lincoln Crown Court on August 22.

His re-trial is expected to last four days.

The defence said Atkinson had the items for his own curiosity and experimentation, and he denied any intent to make explosives, the jury heard.

The jury were told all the items were legal to possess, and all the chemicals were old.

Judge Pini told Atkinson: “The jury were unable to agree. The Crown want a re-trial. The earliest date for a re-trial is August 22.”

Residents had to be evacuated from their homes and part of the B1241 was closed off while a controlled explosion took place in a field.