Man in court over ‘viable explosive device’ on London Tube train

October 27, 2016

A 19-year-old student charged in connection with the discovery of a “viable explosive device” on a London Tube train has appeared in court.

Damon Smith, from Bermondsey in southeast London, appeared in the dock at Westminster Magistrates Court wearing a grey prison-issue tracksuit.

He spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

Smith faces a single charge of constructing or possessing an explosive device with intent to harm others.

He entered no plea in relation to that charge during the hearing.

However, defence counsel Simon Eastwood indicated that his client, who has a form of autism, would be pleading not guilty on the grounds it was a prank.

The court heard how the device had been left inside an abandoned black Adidas rucksack and was found by two members of the public in a Jubilee line carriage near North Greenwich Tube station.

After the discovery last Thursday morning, the Tube train and station were both evacuated for several hours, as bomb disposal teams made the device safe.

The teenager was Tasered and arrested by armed police and counter-terror officers the following day, outside a Tube station on Holloway Road in North London.

Outlining the case against Smith, the prosecution said experts had carried out a subsequent forensic examination of the package and deemed it to be a “viable improvised explosive device” which would have caused injury had it detonated.

The court was told the bomb was a “pressure”-type device and contained grey powder, ball bearings and a clock-type detonator.

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