Convicted Bomb-Maker Had Pictures of Muslims on Dartboard & Images of Barack Obama
A bomb-maker who had a dartboard featuring images of Barack Obama, the Duchess of Cambridge and Cheryl Tweedy has been jailed for five years.
Matthew Glynn, 37, had an arsenal of weapons including Samurai swords, axes and knives at his home in Horfield, Bristol. He kept a viable improvised explosive device (IED) – which posed a threat to life – underneath his bed. More than 6kg of explosive powders, as well as other chemical used for bomb making, were stashed in his property.
Glynn also bought a Wolverine-style weapon with four sharp blades, described as “horrific” by police.
Bristol Crown Court heard a colleague tipped off police after visiting Glynn at his home in July.
Rachel Drake, prosecuting, said: “He went straight to the defendant’s bedroom and saw a vast array of weapons. “He also saw a dartboard with pictures of Muslim people upon it and Mr Glynn said he had a dart board of ‘people I hate’.
“Mr Glynn gave a tour of his weapons, describing their origin and use.
“The following day at work, Mr Glynn joked that he had had him sat on a bomb when he had been sat on the bed.”
The colleague, James Grogan, did not believe Glynn at first but later reported the claim to police. Officers attended at Howdens Joinery, where Glynn worked, on July 23 and he insisted it had been a joke. But when police asked to check his home, Glynn said he was worried about his collection of swords and axes.
He then asked officers: “If I do have something, will it be classed as a terror incident?”
Mr Grogan described Glynn as being an anxious man who demonstrated “racist and homophobic views”.
The area around Glynn’s home was evacuated while explosives experts examined what was inside. Glynn’s bed was x-rayed and a bomb, containing explosives, ball bearings and nails, was discovered. Ms Drake said experts concluded the device “would have posed a threat to life” if it had been detonated.
There were pots containing more than 6kg of explosives at Glynn’s home, as well as other handmade devices. One was a tennis ball filled with explosive powder, which could have been used as a grenade.
Glynn also possessed books, leaflets and notes detailing how to make bombs and throw knives, the court heard. “It was an extremely large arsenal,” Ms Drake said.
“In interview, he said it was his intention at some point to go to an open space to ignite them to see what damage they could do.” She said he did not have an explanation for the dartboard of people he hated found at his home and denied he still held views expressed on Facebook.
“The Facebook pages demonstrate an element of Islamophobia and general racial hated,” Ms Drake told the court.
One posts suggested school trips to mosques should be banned, while another called for the death penalty for serial killers, paedophiles and terrorists.
Ramin Pakrooh, representing Glynn, questioned why his client’s Facebook postings had been raised in court.
“There’s a number of views expressed within his Facebook page such as views on immigration,” Mr Pakrooh said.
“That is absolutely a matter for him and is absolutely not for this court to censure these views unless these views have resulted in him breaking the law.”
Mr Pakrooh said Glynn “objected” to his dartboard being referred to as a “Muslim board” by prosecutors.
The board featured images of Barack Obama, Justin Bieber, Cheryl Tweedy, the Duchess of Cambridge and a Somali boy.
“It was a board for people he hated,” Mr Pakrooh said. “I don’t think any of the images on that board have escaped having darts thrown at them.”
Glynn had been collecting weapons for about 20 years and treated them as a “hobby”, his barrister said. The court heard Glynn had no previous convictions. He admitted five charges under the Explosive Substances Act 1883 at a hearing in October.
Sentencing Glynn to five years in prison, Judge Peter Blair QC, the Recorder of Bristol, said the defendant had expressed “hated of others”. He described his Facebook postings as “haphazard and irregular”.
“The really concerning elements of this case were the two bombs which were seized,” the judge said.
“One of them had ball bearings and nails in it and the other had ball bearings on it.”