A man who pleaded guilty to collecting a hoard of weapons and explosives has been sentenced at Teesside Crown Court.
42-year-old Simon Paul Flint, previously of Meadowfield Drive in Eaglescliffe, was arrested in June 2019 after Durham Police received a call from a member of the public saying that Flint had threatened some young people in the local area with a crossbow.
Flint was then said to have left the scene in his camper van.
He was later arrested and officers searched his camper van, in which he had been living.
A major police and army bomb disposal operation was later carried out at Dockside Road near the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough.
Hundreds of illegal weapons were discovered in the van including;
- Pepper spray
- An axe
- Improvised explosive crossbow bolts
- Rocket motors
- Low explosive powders
- Shotgun propellant
A Durham Constabulary spokesperson said:
Search teams also found a large amount of equipment that could be used to build improvised explosive devices, stab proof vests, handcuffs and a number of electrical components.
More illegal items were found in a storage unit, which Flint directed police to when he was being questioned.
Flint claimed he had been experimenting with the chemicals out of misguided curiosity.
Describing himself as a weapons enthusiast, Flint pleaded guilty to the possession of bladed articles, the possession of offensive weapons and the possession of prohibited weapons.
Simon Flint has been sentenced to 30 months behind bars following an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East and Durham Constabulary.
Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden is Head of the North East. He said;