Man who caused dangerous explosion in Sharnbrook said he had “good intentions”

He had “developed an obsession with explosives”
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A man who caused an explosion which shook neighbouring houses in a quiet Bedfordshire village has been convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey.

Matthew Haydon, 48, suffered serious injuries to his hands and chest in the blast at the home he shared with his mother in Sharnbrook, on April 10 last year. Police even evacuated neighbours while the address in Loring Road was made safe.

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When police searched the property they found sensitive primary high explosive substances, numerous different chemicals, as well as designs and components for improvised explosive devices (IED’s).

Window damage after the explosionWindow damage after the explosion
Window damage after the explosion

The court heard that Haydon told officers that he had had “good intentions” but had gone about it the wrong way.

He denied one charge of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property but was today (April 19) convicted.

Fire and police officers were called to the scene after Haydon was taken to Bedford Hospital to be treated. They found a makeshift laboratory in an upstairs room, which, the court heard, Haydon’s mother called “Matt’s Chemistry Room”.

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Haydon told police he’d had a long-standing interest in weapons and chemistry and had been researching explosives following his concerns at the Manchester bombing at an Ariana Grande concert.

Damage to the window following the explosionDamage to the window following the explosion
Damage to the window following the explosion

DI Rich Stott, of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “Haydon had developed an obsession with explosives, and he was making his own highly sensitive explosive substances.

“These substances are inherently dangerous and are not produced commercially due to the risk they present. He had already had many near misses but continued to try to make the substances and to cause small explosions. Haydon was fully aware of the risk that a larger explosion could take place. Furthermore, this could have been so much worse, he was lucky to have not caused more harm to himself, his mother and neighbouring properties.

“I would like to thank all the emergency responders and specialist teams who deployed to deal with this incident and the investigation team who has worked so hard on this complex investigation.”

Haydon remains in custody ahead of a sentencing date.