Man had pipe bomb in his flat court told

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

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A man has appeared before Londonderry Magistrates Court charged with possession of an explosive device.

The court was told that David Albert Baranowski (26), of Sperrin Park, had been keeping a pipe bomb in his flat for a friend.

The device was found on Monday last week during a police search of the accused’s flat. Baranowski was not at home at the time, but was arrested some time later. He is not charged with terrorist-related offences.

Police objected to bail on the grounds that they feared for Baranowski’s safety. In police interview Baranowski claimed the device had been placed in his flat on March 2 by a friend he would not name and that he had initially objected to keeping it there.

The court police were following a definite line of inquiry in the matter and believed the device may have been placed in Baranowski’s home by a member of a paramilitary organisation.

Police said they did not believe Baranowski was involved in any terrorist activity and came across as “quite agitated, upset and remorseful” in interview and he had no reason to believe this was anything less than genuine.

District Judge Mr Barney McElholm said that while Baranowski was known to the court it was never for matters of this kind.

“His behaviour is frequently idiotic and on this occasion he may have been more idiotic than before.”

He released Baranowski on his own bail of £500, a surety of £500, to reside at a bail address which for legal reasons cannot be made public and to stay away from the Nelson Drive area for his own safety.