Jail call for backyard explosives
Police at Gloucester Park deal with the explosives.

A Bunbury man who made the highly volatile explosive TATP has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years jail after a District Court judge said an “emphatic” message needed to be sent for the greater good of the community.

Ben McDonald Roberts was sentenced in the District Court in Bunbury this afternoon after pleading guilty to five counts of making the explosive and two counts of doing an act that endangered the health, life or safety of another person.

Roberts, who will become eligible for parole after serving half the jail term, found a recipe for the explosive on the internet and had “no idea” of the volatility of the substance when interviewed by police.

Previously his defence lawyer Derek Hunter said Roberts had wanted to explode the substance for a “bit of fun”.

Prosecutor Adam Ebell told Judge Allan Fenbury during sentencing submissions this morning that Roberts should be jailed immediately to discourage others in the community from making explosives.

Mr Ebell said Roberts had been reckless and disregarded the safety of others.

Defence lawyer Derek Hunter said Roberts did not need to be jailed.

He said his client was remorseful and had cooperated with police during their investigation.

The investigation was sparked after a couple found the 3kg TATP package in the Leschenault Estuary in November.

Police at first thought the package contained drugs and transported it to Perth.

A test later revealed it was TATP and the package was taken to Gloucester Park for detonation.

Roberts made the explosives at his Bunbury home from chemicals that can be easily bought.

Judge Fenbury said he had reluctantly decided to send Roberts to jail, but everything needed to be done to discourage and prevent people from making the substance.

The West Australian

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