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Man who collected a hoard of illegal weapons and explosives is sentenced to 30 months behind bars

Simon Flint

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.

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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;

  • Knives
  • Swords
  • Pepper spray
  • An axe
  • Explosives
  • Crossbows
  • Improvised explosive crossbow bolts
  • Rocket motors
  • Low explosive powders
  • Shotgun propellant

A Durham Constabulary spokesperson said:

When our officers stopped the motorhome and discovered the store of weapons and explosives inside, we had no choice but to carry out an intensive search of the vehicle to make certain the public were safe.

We can assure residents that our officers will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the community at all times”.

– Durham Constabulary spokesperson
Some of the items seized during the search Credit: Counter Terrorism Police

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.

The Crown Prosecution Service has worked closely with the North East Counter Terrorism Unit to build a robust case against Simon Flint.

He now fully accepts the potential dangerousness of his actions, even though it was never his intent to cause harm.

Under no circumstances should the manufacture of explosive devices ever be considered a recreational activity. No matter how careful Mr Flint may have been, the potential for collateral damage in pursuit of his eccentric interests still remains.

I sincerely hope that his sentence for the possession of these items serves as a stark warning to others.”

– Gary Fothergill of the CPS

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.

30
Months. The sentence handed to Simon Flit at Teesside Crown Court.

Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden is Head of the North East. He said;

Flint had an alarming number of weapons in his possession when he was arrested. Whilst there was no evidence of intent to cause harm, in pleading guilty, he has recognised the serious nature of the offences and the consequences of his actions and behaviour.

Flint also possessed and stored chemicals he knew were potentially dangerous. These substances can be unstable and attempts to manufacture them or adapt them can lead to the damage of property, serious injury or even death.

Maintaining public safety is our number one priority and we will always seek to prosecute those who disregard and feel they are above the law.”

– Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East