Socialist Worker

A terror raid that doesn't make the headlines - despite chemical explosives and a rocket launcher

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2021

Here's a police seizure of weapons that wasn’t splashed all over the front pages.

This week a British National Party election candidate has been accused of possessing the largest amount of chemical explosives of its type ever found in the country. That’s right, the largest ever – imagine if he’d been an Asian man. Home secretary John Reid would have held a special press conference and it would have led every news bulletin.

The home of another man charged with similar offences contained a rocket launcher and a nuclear biological suit as well as BNP literature and chemicals!

Robert Cottage of Talbot Street, Colne, and David Bolus Jackson of Trent Road, Nelson, made separate appearances in court charged with being in possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose.

Cottage was arrested at his home on Thursday of last week, while retired dentist Jackson was arrested in the Lancaster area on Friday.

The 22 chemical components recovered by police are believed to be the largest haul ever found at a house in this country. Cottage stood as a BNP candidate in the Pendle council elections in May.

Christiana Buchanan, who appeared for the prosecution in Jackson's case, alleged the pair had 'some kind of masterplan'.

Update 23 February 2007

A jury has failed to reach verdicts in the trial of a former British National Party (BNP) candidate and a dentist accused of plotting to make bombs.

Robert Cottage, 49, and David Jackson, 62, both of Lancashire, denied conspiracy to make an explosion with chemicals ordered over the internet.

The jury at Manchester Crown Court informed Justice Beatson they were unable to reach a majority verdict.

They were discharged after three days' deliberation. There will be a retrial.

Cottage, from Talbot Street, Colne, pleaded guilty to possession of explosives at the start of his trial

The former BNP candidate, who failed to be elected in three local elections, told the jury he thought civil unrest would break out and that he had stockpiled food, petrol and chemicals to make gunpowder.

He and dentist David Jackson, of Trent Road, Nelson, both denied conspiracy to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.

Jackson, who was not a BNP member but had attended several party meetings, also denied one count of possessing explosives.

The case centred around a police search of Mr Cottage's home last September which uncovered ball bearings, a host of chemicals and a document called the Anarchy Cookbook, which detailed how to make bombs.

After interviewing Mr Cottage, they later recovered two nuclear protection suits and bows and arrows from Mr Jackson's home in Trent Road, Nelson.

Both men were remanded in custody.

See follow up Former BNP man faces charges

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Sat 7 Oct 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2021
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