Jury examine ‘do-it-yourself bombing guide’

The Guardian, June 12 1980

An Old Bailey jury yesterday examined a hand-written do-it-yourself bombing guide which was said to have been found under the carpet in a Liverpool council house by police investigating explosions in the city and in London.

Mr Michael Neligan QC prosecuting, said: “It contains instructions on the manufacture of timing mechanisms.” The court heard that a man’s fingerprint had been identified on one page, but it was not that of Mr Brian Keenan, who has denied four charges of conspiring to cause explosions and to possess firearms.

The prosecution alleges that he organised the IRA bombing campaign which began in England in August 1975. The prosecution claims that there were strong links between equipment found in the council house – at 93 Scarisbrick Drive – in February 1977, and that used in seven bombs and seven incendiary devices placed in the Oxford Street area of London on January 29 1977.

Mr Donald Lidstone, a retired explosives specialist, said that seven detonators and wire cut-offs from 14 detonators had been found at the Liverpool house. He suggested that the other seven detonators had been used in the London bombs.

Detective Chief Inspector John Thompson, a fingerprint officer of Merseyside Police, said he had examined 49 items from the house, as well as every possible surface in every room. He had found and identified some prints, but none of them belonged to Mr Keenan.

He said he had also examined material found in another bomb factory – in Oxford Road, Liverpool – during a police raid in July 1975. He had identified the prints of 11 people but none of Mr Keenan’s.

The case continues today.