Napalm granddad fails with appeal

Nicholas Smith and his wife Dorothy
Nicholas Smith and his wife Dorothy

A GRANDDAD found guilty of plotting a napalm bomb attack after claiming he was repeatedly the target of anti-social behaviour has failed in a bid to clear his name.

Nicholas Smith was found guilty of making an explosive substance with intent to endanger life after a Teesside Crown Court trial last September.

The 54-year-old had been interrupted by police while trying to make the explosive substance in his kitchen after eggs had again been thrown at his house, then in Horden’s Twelfth Street.

But he was freed in November when he was given a suspended sentence, after spending six months on remand.

He challenged his conviction at London’s Criminal Appeal Court yesterday, with his lawyers arguing it was “unsafe” because his confession was obtained without a solicitor or appropriate adult present.

But his appeal was dismissed by top judges, who said he had consulted his solicitor and been examined by a doctor before making his statement.

The court had heard how Mr Smith was driven to despair after eggs had been hurled at his property.

When officers arrived at his home on May 8 last year, after investigating the egg-throwing incidents, they found him mixing ingredients that could have a “fireball effect” if ignited.

When they asked him what he was doing he told them “what does it look like. Go and check the computer upstairs. I’m making a bomb”.

After his arrest, he spoke to a legal representative and was later examined by a doctor after he said he was feeling unwell.

But, when he was formally interviewed, he declined a solicitor and told police he had been harassed, had drunk a lot and had “had enough” when he searched the internet and made the bomb, but said it was a “cry for help”.

His lawyers argued Smith’s statement should have been excluded from the jury, because neither a solicitor nor an appropriate adult were there when he made it.

But, dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice Elias said the judge at the time had made the correct decision.

The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Eady and Judge Clement Goldstone QC, said there had been a consultation with a solicitor and an examination, and it was unlikely an appropriate adult would have made any difference.