Youth jailed for setting off IED in supermarket

01/09/2017

A teenager has today (01 September) been jailed for four years and four months at Wolverhampton Crown Court after pleading guilty to making and detonating an improvised explosive device (IED) in a supermarket.

At around midday on 27 June, amid heightened tensions following terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, a member of cleaning staff at the Blackheath branch of Sainsbury's in the West Midlands encountered a youth in the store with a knife. She alerted colleagues and a few minutes later, an explosion occurred in the store's toilets.

The emergency services were called and nearly 1,000 people were evacuated from the nearby area.

A 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was identified as the person with the knife and was arrested.

He later admitted that he had researched and made the IED before planting it in the supermarket's toilet and setting it off intending to damage the premises.

He pleaded guilty to making an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose, doing an act with intent to cause an explosion likely to endanger life and possession of a knife in a public place.

Emma Tait from the CPS said: "At a time of heightened national security and sensitivity, this extraordinarily dangerous incident not only caused mass disruption, but it spread fear and distress in the local community.

"The defendant's deliberate actions put himself and the lives of hundreds of store staff, shoppers and nearby residents in danger.

"In addition to that distress, the cost of repairs to the store, damaged goods and loss of trading runs into many tens of thousands of pounds." 

Notes

Emma Tait is a  District Crown Prosecutor with West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service