Man who made explosives and zombie knives for 'war on drug dealers' is jailed
GUILTY: Liam Pinnock made makeshift explosives
A MAN who had a personal arsenal of weapons, including homemade "zombie knives" and explosives, to take on a London drug-dealing gang who attacked his mother, has been jailed for 18 months. Liam Pinnock, 39, admitted one count of making an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose and another of attempting to do so. Blackfriars Crown Court heard yesterday police found an array of weapons at the home he shared with his drug addict mother, including zombie knives, made to inflict serious injuries, axes, machetes and a cross bow arrow. He also had IRA-style balaclavas and homemade bullet-proof vests stashed there. Officers found one explosive device made from a Vaseline tin with gunpowder inside a that would have been activated by party popper detonators. A second, that was not completed, had 14 ball bearings in a container. Detective Sergeant Dan Byron from the Met Police said: "Pinnock is a dangerous individual who I believed, if not apprehended, would have inflicted serious harm on either himself or those around him. "A large number of zombie knives, axes and machetes, along with two crudely made explosive devices, have been removed from circulation in the capital. "Weapons such as these are made for one purpose; had they been used as intended, they would have caused a significant amount of harm on the streets of London."
DANGEROUS: This knife was seized from Pinnock's home
Pinnock was not charged in connection with the knives and other items, because it is not illegal to possess these in a private home. The court heard both Pinnock, who has convictions for supplying drugs between 2005 and 2011, and his mother were hoarders who were both addicted to crack cocaine and heroin. However, the drug dealers they used, including one named Abdullah, became violent and "threw a tin" at his mother and made threats against them. The court heard Pinnock complained to the police that they would not help in respect of these threats. On August 16 2017 PC Ben Thomas visited the pair's home address in respect of a complaint by Pinnock's mother Carletta about an alleged assault by Abdullah. Mr Thomas recorded that Pinnock said he had "made a weapon to use against Abdulla" and that he was "ready for a war". He also said Pinnock told him he had been to Abdullah's address with a knife and was "ready to fight" but he had to abandon the plan after encountering a group of youths. Prosecuting, David Markham, suggested Pinnock was paranoid due to his use of drugs and armed himself with weapons and the makeshift explosives due to these heightened fears. He said: "He made the explosives in a context of a perception his home and or mother were under threat from gang members or drug dealers. "Whether that perception was heightened by his cocaine addiction or not, my not make much difference in the scheme of things as he spoke to PC Thomas of a war in August 2017. "A few months later at his address they found an arsenal of different sorts of weapons." However, Pinnock insisted he made and kept so may knives because he was "fascinated" them, but he had no intention of using them. He denied he made the explosive devices at his home in Surr Street, Islington, north London, to use against the drug dealers who he said attacked his mother, and instead claimed they were a drunken prank, but were never set off.
STASH: Body Armour seized from Liam Pinnock
Although Pinnock pleaded guilty to the offences, a "newton hearing" was held at the court to establish his level of guilt as he disputed so much of the prosecution case that the explosives were made to use for violent purposes. He said he made the remarks to the officer because he was angry about his mother being hit by the tin. Pinnock claimed the explosives had been made only while he and a group of six to eight friends fooled about while drunk with a firework that failed to go off in his garden on Bonfire Night in November 2017. He said: "We had been drinking and a firework did not go off. I ground up the gun powder in a pepper grinder and put it in the tin to make a banger, but we decided not to set it off. I did not make the one with the ball bearings, someone else did, but I was responsible." He said he had no intention of ever using them in a feud with drug gangs or anyone else and they had just been flung into a drawer where police later found them. Defending, James Elvidge, said: "He makes things out of bits of stuff. It is his hobby and what he does. It is not illegal what he was doing. It was very clear they were made from fireworks and a very crude device." However, Judge Michael Simon, was not convinced by the explanation. He said he believed the explosives had been made to potentially use against those threatening his home.