Man cleared over chemical explosives haul
A man charged with storing grenades, mines and chemical weapons at his farm has been cleared. Russell Wadge, 58, was charged after counter-terrorism police raided his property in Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire, in 2019.
The trial at Newport Crown Court heard that the large stocks of chemicals found at Wadge's property in June 2019 "could kill or injure" when combined. Wadge denied 28 charges of possessing explosive devices and chemical weapons and was cleared on all counts by a jury.
During the trial Wadge told the jury that he was interested in explosives, but he had no intention of harming anyone. "People who love explosives are not necessarily bad people. they're fun. Explosives are fun," he said.
Wadge had already admitted possessing poisonous chemicals at a previous hearing, and pleaded guilty to five offences under the Poisons Act at Swansea Crown Court in December 2019. It followed the discovery of nickel cyanide, hydrogen cyanide, copper potassium cyanide, sodium cooper potassium cyanide and potassium cyanide at his property.
Following the not guilty verdicts from the jury in Newport, the presiding judge suggested that the case raised issues of law that would be of interest to the UK Parliament. "There may be a case for Parliament to look at the laws again for explosives," said Judge Geraint Walters. "In terms of explosives, we have been considering an act of Parliament which goes back to the 1800s - time has moved on. "It is not a game. If people find gaps in the law and it is the desire of Parliament to close them, it is for them to do so."
Upon jailing Wadge for 12 months, for possessing poisonous chemicals, Judge Walters said the defendant had "no respect for law, which is evident from the way you time and time again pour scorn on police". He said that many of Wadge's views were "distorted" and "extreme" in their nature. "You are an opinionated individual, intolerant of anyone who disagrees with you," he added.