Had been keeping pipe bomb in his flat for a friend - court told

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A 26 year old Derry man has been released on bail after the city’s Magistrate’s Court heard this morning that he had been keeping a pipe bomb in his flat ‘for a friend’.

The pipe bomb was uncovered at the flat of David Albert Baranowski on Monday after police received reports there was an explosive device in the Sperrin Park residence.

Baranowski was not at home at the time of the police search but was arrested at his family home yesterday.

He faces a charge of having an explosive device in his possession but has not been charged with any terrorism offences. During the hearing the court heard police objected to bail on the grounds that they feared for the safety of the defendant.

He had made the case to police that the device had been placed in his flat by a friend, who he would not name, on March 2.

Baranowski told his friend he did not want the device in his home but eventually agreed to keep it there.

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

The constable further told the court he did not believe Baranowski was involved in any terrorist activity.

He added that the defendant 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 McElholn 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.