A man who carried out a fire bomb attack on the constituency office of Grantham MP Nick Boles has been jailed for 15 months at Lincoln Crown Court.
Paul Leverseidge manufactured the explosive by strapping 1p and 2p coins to fireworks before throwing the home-made device at the Bourne headquarters of Mr Boles, a planning minister. The force of the explosion shook nearby properties and hurled the coins up to 100 feet away. Damage to the building in North Street was limited to a smashed window and scorch marks on the pavement outside.
Richard Thatcher, prosecuting, said that Leverseidge, who lived in a flat opposite, had earlier set off a powerful firework which caused as loud bang likened by one nearby resident to the sound of gun shot. Soon afterwards he lit the fire bomb causing a second, louder explosion which was followed by the sound of breaking glass.
Residents went out to see what had happened and spotted Leverseidge nearby running around in an “excitable state”.
Police were alerted and after the area was sealed off bomb squad officers were called to the scene to carry out checks.
CCTV footage identified the fire bomber as having come from the flats where Leverseidge lived and as a result his home was searched.
Officers found a large number of fireworks inside the property. Leverseidge claimed he had seen somebody on the roof of the Conservative building and went out and set off a firework to scare them.
Leverseidge, 24, of Marquess Court, Bourne, admitted a charge of having an explosive substance on June 10 in breach of the 1883 Explosive Substances Act. He was jailed for 15 months.
Chris Milligan, defending, said Leverseidge’s life fell apart following the death of his father and he turned to drugs.
He added: “He did not have counselling or therapy. He did not come to terms with the loss.”
Mr Milligan said that Leverseidge developed mental health problems and on the night was suffering from a lack of sleep as well as the effects of taking drugs. He said Leverseidge set off the device “to see what would happen”.
Judge Sean Morris said it was clear that Leverseidge was unwell at the time and is unlikely to come back before the courts again.
But he told him: “I cannot do anything other than pass a custodial sentence.”