STUDENT Damon Smith from Newton Abbot has been jailed for 15 years after being found guilty at the Old Bailey of planting a home-made bomb on the London Underground.
Smith, whose former home in Tudor Road off East Street was searched by counter-terrorism officers, claimed it was a prank but was found guilty of possession of an explosive substance with intent.
Sentencing, the Old Bailey judge told Smith, now 20, ‘The seriousness of what you did cannot be overstated’.
The court heard had the device exploded, it would have gone off as commuters left the North Greenwich station platform.
Smith, who has Asperger’s Sydrome which affected his social skills, was said to be obsessed by weapons. During the trial the court heard that the then 19-year-old London Metropolitan University IT student devised his explosive concoction after reading an online feature about making how to make a bomb ‘in the kitchen of your mom.’
Judge Richard Marks QC said that while Smith was not motivated by terrorism, he was a dangerous offender who had constructed other devices before planting one on the Tube.
‘I am influenced by your history of preoccupation with weapons and bombs as well as by your condition which makes it difficult for you... to understand and fully appreciate the very serious potential consequences of your actions,’ he said.
He said the student’s actions came at a time of heightened fear of terrorism, ‘an all too timely reminder of which were the events in Manchester’.