Man who caused ‘fireball’ with explosive device made from fireworks spared jail

Bristol Crown Court.

Bristol Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A man who made an explosive device, which was detonated in Worle, has been spared jail.

Adam Gover-Clark made an improvised explosive device containing two fireworks in a plastic container filled with screws.

Gover-Clark, aged 21, found the fireworks and adapted them to include screws.

They were detonated in Appletree Court, in Worle, at 4.15am on May 14 which left a 'fireball the size of a dinner plate'.

The items were recovered by the Army's Explosive Ordinance Disposal and made safe.

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Defending, Fiona Elder, said: "This is a young man who suffers significantly with Asperger's syndrome and persons who have Asperger's can become extremely fixated on certain topics.

"His thinking is rigid and he had no foresight of the consequences of his actions. He said the inclusion of screws in the device was to weigh it down.

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"Gover-Clark is extremely intelligent but his brain just works in different ways, he has many advantages others do not. "Nothing within his background indicates he has a worrying thought of harming others."

At Bristol Crown Court on Friday, Gover-Clark, of Forth Avenue in Portishead, received a two-year community order and a concurrent community order for having a knuckle duster in a public place.

He must undertake 140 hours of unpaid work, 25 days of rehabilitation and pay a surcharge of £85.

Judge Timothy Rose said: "What you did was not something at the time you thought was against the law, this was so serious that the maximum sentence this offence carries is life imprisonment.

"You are a young man with a number of difficulties and somebody who would be in a vulnerable position in prison, this could be a damaging outcome for you.

"You have an unhealthy fascination with weapons which is something you should reconsider and find another way to express yourself.

"The items were made to get rid of a couple of old fireworks and you did not expect for them to be potentially dangerous by weighing it down to make sure it did not take off.

"This was a close call and this has to be the first and last time you appear before the courts because if it is not, a custodial sentence will be applied."

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