'Curious' collector of bomb-building parts who blew up fruit on film admits explosives stash

A "curious" collector of parts for building bombs who blew up fruit on film, has admitted owning an arsenal of more than 100 knives.

Simon Flint, from Eaglescliffe, County Durham, was arrested after being stopped by police in his campervan which led to a 30-hour road closure.

A major police and army bomb disposal operation was later carried out at Dockside Road near the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough.

Flint appeared at Teesside Crown Court where he admitted getting and modifying parts to build IEDs, but denied intending to harm anyone or damage property.

The 42-year-old pleaded guilty to two charges of having an explosive substance on June 28th and 30th 2019.

He had items including eight improvised explosive crossbow bolts, seven rocket motors, a railway fog signal, low explosive powders, shotgun propellant, pipe, batteries, a transmitter, a receiver, modified electrical components, a modified torch, quantities of gelatine, glycerine, charcoal and boric acid, and a pestle and mortar.


Flint also admitted affray, using or threatening unlawful violence, on June 28, to which he apologised to a named man for the distress caused.

He then admitted, "the use of a crossbow in the manner described in a public place was very unwise".

Flint had previously pleaded guilty to four other charges, also from late June.

These were: having a bladed article - 85 knives, 29 lock knives, three swords, two crossbow bolts with razor blades inserted, a knife disguised as a credit card and an axe on the A689 near Coundon; having an offensive weapon - three batons, two knuckle dusters, a baseball bat torch and a truncheon - at the same location; two counts of possessing a prohibited weapon, relating to pepper spray.

His account was read out in court as the basis of his plea to the charges under the Explosive Substances Act 1883, it said:


Prosecutor Jolyon Perks said there was a "degree of compulsion" in Flint's acquisition of the weapons.

Mark Styles, defending, said he did not ask for a pre-sentence report in the case.

Judge Howard Crowson remanded Flint, whose address was recorded in court as prison, in custody until sentencing via video link next Monday.

He told the defendant:

Flint is due to be sentenced on Monday 16 December 2019.