A binman ‘survivalist’ today admitted having over 250 home-made bombs in his flat which were discovered after at least one of them exploded.
Reeco Fernandez, 29, hoarded improvised explosive devices in the home he shared with his mother and father.
He stockpiled the bombs as well as modified fireworks, ammunition containers, a bulletproof vest and military clothing.
The IEDs stored in his bedroom shed and under the stairs contained three chemicals, ‘black powder’, ‘flash powder’ and ETN, or erythritol tetranitrate.
ETN is secondary high explosive, which has military and industrial uses.
They were found after an explosion at Fernandez’s address in Bedminster in Bristol at 7pm on September 8 last year.
It prompted a fire brigade and police search of the property and a mass evacuation of nearby residents.
Fernandez suffered 22 per cent burns as he tried to put the fire out with his dad.
He today admitted charges of having an explosive substance at Bristol Crown Court.
A judge sentenced him to three years and four months in prison and must serve up to half.
Prosecutor Rachel Drake said there was no obvious suggestion of terrorist motives but Fernandez had a committed interest in explosives.
She said: ‘This incident involved seizure of a vast number of items.’
The court was told he was a ‘survivalist’, a single man with a bivouac in a local wood in case of emergency and a stockpile of goods, living at home with his mother and father.
Fernandez did not call 999 after the explosion, and it appeared he was conducting experiments in his home – putting his family at risk.
He has no previous convictions.
At his home police found a notebook which contained IED recipes alongside IEDs which posed a ‘significant risk to property and people’.
When police arrived Fernandez provided no information other than mentioning a firework had exploded – he had suffered 22 per cent burns.
A fire investigator said three had been a limited fire in the corner of a bedroom at the property.
A metal cabinet was damaged and there was ‘projectile’ damage. The cause of ignition was not known.
Miss Cowe said Fernandez, who worked as a bin man, didn’t understand just how dangerous what he was doing was.
The court has been told he didn’t realize how dangerous it would be to explode something on a metal cabinet in his bedroom.
There was also empty grenades, ball bearings and dismantled fireworks. At least seven homes were evacuated and residents could not return for five days.
Fernandez spent two weeks in hospital after the explosion, and was left with scarring.
So far he has spent six months in prison, where the court has been told he has tried to make the best of it and participated in an arts workshop.
Miss Cowe said her remorseful client apologised to people for his actions, saying he had wanted to help others and make his family proud.
The judge ruled the explosion was accidental and it was not Fernandez’s intention to put anyone at risk.
He said there was no evidence of terrorism, just an act of an ‘immensely misguided nature’. The judge said he did not view Fernandez as dangerous.