Ex-Denbigh mayor accused of blowing up car

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Ex-Denbigh mayor accused of blowing up car

A former Liberal Democrat councillor has appeared in court accused of arson and causing explosions.

46-year-old John Larsen, the former mayor of the North Wales town of Denbigh, made his own Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which he used to blow up a Land Rover 4x4, Caernarfon Crown Court heard.

Larsen, who is said to have an "active interest in pyrotechnics" is standing trial over a series of small explosions which occurred in the town in February this year.

These were followed later by a larger explosion, which not only destroyed a Land Rover Discovery but also another vehicle, and sent ball-bearings and other shrapnel flying into surrounding houses.

Outlining the case to the court, prosecuting barrister Wyn Lloyd Jones said: "Windows were smashed. These events brought fear to the local community.

"He was living right in the middle of it, a matter of a few feet from where that improvised explosive device had exploded.

"At the time he was a local councillor. He was well known within the local community. In 1999 he had been mayor of Denbigh. He was a member of the local neighbourhood watch.

"Not surprisingly there was media interest in what was going on and the defendant voiced his opinions."

The explosions stopped after Larsen was arrested on April 19.

Police seized his computer, which was found to contain research on charges and fuses, as well as notes on a variety of different chemicals.

"There is a strong and compelling case against the defendant proving he was responsible," Lloyd Jones continued.

"The prosecution don't have to prove a motive but it is highly likely the defendant was getting a thrill from what he was doing and the attention these events were generating."

The court heard how police were led to Larsen after a neighbour kept watch from a bedroom window in an attempt to find out who was responsible for the explosions.

The trial continues.