Judge raises questions over charges faced by Banbury man

Court news
Court news

A judge has questioned whether a Banbury man who has pleaded guilty to intent to destroy property has committed the crime he is accused of.

Darrell Parker, 48, of Hearthway, appeared at Warwick Crown Court on the charge after causing an explosion using a deodorant can and lighter fluid, sending shrapnel flying for more than 20 metres. He had threatened to blow up Leamington police station.

The court heard that Parker had previous convictions for a bomb hoax and for sending an abusive communication threatening to blow up another police station.

Parker had earlier pleaded not guilty to having the articles in Hamilton Terrace, Leamington, in December last year but changd his plea following an adjournment. He has also admitted a further charge of arson being reckless whether the life of another was endangered.

During the previous hearing, a judge asked why Parker had been charged with having articles with intent to destroy or damage property rather than arson.

Prosecutor Tom Schofield said that at 8.30am of December 13, Parker walked into the police station and threatened to return and bomb it.

An hour-and-a-quarter later police in Leamington police station heard a bang, and they were notified there had been an explosion outside.

When Parker was arrested he said: “It’s only a can of deodorant; it’s a waste of time.”

Judge Richard Griffith-Jones questioned the charges Parker had admitted, asking how destroying his own property could be an offence, observing that if you buy a pen and then stamp on it that is no crime.

And of the arson charge, he said: “This is bizarre behaviour, and it is worrying. But whose life would be endangered by blowing up a deodorant can? He is someone who may need to be detained, but I’m worried about whether he’s committed criminal offences.”

The judge adjourned the case ‘for the prosecution to set out why these crimes are crimes,’ and remanded Parker in custody.