Sheffield loner jailed after bomb alert

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News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

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A LONER who “lived in a world of his own” and had a fixation with rockets, chemicals and explosives is starting an 18 month prison sentence after police discovered bomb-making chemicals at his Sheffield home.

Fifty homes were evacuated, roads closed and trams diverted when high-explosive TATP was found at the house 35-year-old James Curtis shared with his mother in Ridgehill Avenue, Intake.

Sheffield Crown Court was told that TATP has been used to detonate improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Judge Simon Lawler QC said: “There was a potential and serious risk to the public, you were responsible for that and it can’t be overlooked. An immediate custodial sentence is unavoidable. The reaction was understandable, particularly in this day and age.”

Curtis admitted two charges of making explosives and one of possessing them.

The court heard that he suffered a depressive illness, and his fixation with rockets, chemicals and explosives was ‘the only thing he had any interest in’. It was not suggested for one moment he was intending to harm anybody.

Judge Lawler said: “I accept you had no hostile or malicious intent with regard to the public, but you knew this material was serious, it was hazardous, and it was dangerous, and that’s the serious aspect of this.”