Health Care

Briton jailed for 15 years for bomb on train

Briton jailed for 15 years for bomb on train

Damon Smith, 20, has been jailed at the Old Bailey for 15 years for planting a home-made bomb on a busy Jubilee Line train.

Police and prosecutors said Damon Smith left the bomb, which was packed with explosives and ball bearings, on an underground train in October after he had followed bomb-making instructions from an al-Qaeda magazine.

The Greenwich Peninsula Jubilee line station was evacuated on October 20 previous year at 11am just two minuted before the home made bomb was due to go off.

The device was spotted by fellow passengers on the train, who handed it on to the driver at Canary Wharf.

During sentencing, Judge Richard Marks QC told Smith that "the seriousness of what you did can not be overstated", according to BBC News.

After being arrested by counter-terrorism officers, Smith admitted making the bomb but claimed it was meant to be a Halloween joke.

"The seriousness of what you did can not be overstated, not least against the background of the fear in which we all live from the use of bombs here and around the world".

Richard Carey-Hughes QC, defending, rejected a psychiatrist's assessment that Smith had been "indulging in sadistic fantasies" and asked the judge to consider a lighter sentence because Smith's vulnerability.

A search of his home revealed an obsession with guns, explosives and other weapons.

Damon Smith poses with a BB gun
AFP Getty Images Damon Smith poses with a BB gun

The driver at first dismissed it as lost property and took it into his cab and carried on towards North Greenwich, jurors were told.

It was only when he saw the wires sticking out of the bag did he realise the danger he was in and the station had to be evacuated.

It was timed to go off just minutes after he disembarked en-route to his college.

He had a BB gun, a knife in a sheath, and a knuckleduster at the home he shared with his mother in Rotherhithe, as well as a blank-firing self-loading pistol which he had filmed himself firing.

The court heard that had the device detonated, it would have gone off as commuters left the North Greenwich station platform, causing devastation.

Adding: 'He just made a smoke bomb and the prank went wrong, and now he's paying for it'.

The root cause of Smith's actions were in his autistic disability, he said.

But he denied being an extremist and his advocates read out extracts of a psychiatric report confirming Smith, now 20, has an autism spectrum disorder.

He said: 'I am influenced by your history of preoccupation with weapons and bombs as well as by your condition which makes it hard for you to understand and fully appreciate the very serious potential consequences of your actions'.

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