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Terence Gavan sentenced for explosives, firearms and terrorism offences

15/01/2010

Terence Gavan was sentenced to a total of 11 years imprisonment today after pleading guilty to 22 charges involving explosives, firearms and terrorism offences. He had what Crown Prosecution Service reviewing lawyer Stuart Laidlaw described as "a significant arsenal of weapons with frightening potential".

Mr Laidlaw, a senior lawyer in the CPS Counter Terrorism Division said:

"At his home in Batley, West Yorksire, Mr Gavan had 54 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) some of which contained ball bearings and nails, together with 12 firearms, 10 of which he had made or modified himself. Whilst there was no evidence that he had ever used any of the IEDs or firearms against any person, he certainly had the capability to seriously injure people."

CPS Crown Advocate, Stuart Baker, appeared as prosecuting counsel at the sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey. He told the court that Terence Gavan, a British National Party member at the time, was arrested after a linked investigation revealed that he had purchased manuals on how to make home-made explosive devices.

Mr Laidlaw said: "Numerous explosive items were found during the course of the police search, which took six days. These included improvised explosive devices, some of which incorporated shrapnel; explosive materials, chemicals, fireworks and pyrotechnics. Also found were a dozen firearms; 120 rounds of home made or modified ammunition; component parts of firearms and ammunition; and materials, equipment and tools that could be used to make firearms and ammunition, including lathes and bullet presses.

"Terence Gavan told police in interview that his interest in firearms and explosives was longstanding and that he had made the items over a period of 10 years. He had intended to continue making such items."

Ends

  1. Media enquiries by phone: 020 7796 8180. Out of hours pager: 07699 781926.
  2. Terence Gavan pleaded guilty to the following charges:
    • 4 x making explosives; 4 x possessing explosives, both contrary to Sec 4, Explosive Substances Act 1883;
    • 3 x manufacturing prohibited weapons; 4 x possessing prohibited weapons, both contrary to Sec 5 (1) of the Firearms Act 1968;
    • 1 x possessing ammunition without a current firearm certificate, contrary to Sec 1 (1) (b) of the Firearms Act 1968;
    • 6 x possessing a document or record containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, contrary to Sec 58 (1) (b) of the Terrorism Act 2000.
  3. The Crown Prosecution Service is the independent authority responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:
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    • Presenting cases at court
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