A County Down man today (Tuesday) admitted making a blast bomb in Tandragee.
While 22-year-old Ross Hardy entered a guilty plea to making an explosive device between November 2018 and 1 December 2019, both he and former partner Rebecca Gregory, also 22, denied a further count of possessing an explosive substance under suspicious circumstances on 30 November 2019.
Following the brief arraignment at Newry Crown Court, prosecuting counsel Geraldine McCullough said she thought the case would need a two day trial.
The charges arise after a viable, improvised blast bomb device which had to be made safe by bomb disposal experts, was uncovered in a kitchen cupboard at Gregory’s home.
Previous courts have heard that while Gregory claimed she had been told to hide the device by an anonymous male, Hardy made “full and frank confessions” to having built the device at Lovers Lane in Tandragee about a year before it was found.
He admitted to police that “he had found himself in difficulty, physically around that time – he had been picked on in fights”, so he had built the bomb “intending to use it, if required, to frighten people who sought to fight him”.
The court heard the blast bomb had been made up using firework powder and a fuse from a banger but that it also contained shrapnel such as screws, batteries and a “small torch”.
In court today (Tuesday) Judge Gordon Kerr QC listed the case for review next week with Hardy, from Scarva Lodge in Scarva, being remanded back into custody and Gregory, from Woodview Park in Tandragee, freed on continuing bail.