Vic bomber blames explosives on boredom

·2-min read

A man who built six pipe bombs while he was bored claimed he did not really set out to blow things up.

Aaron Church set off two homemade improvised explosive devices near a neighbour's home in Geelong in September 2020.

The 33-year-old was drug-affected when he set up the devices on a fence.

Two more were found later in a tree. One device was unused and the other had "fizzled", prosecutor Nadia Deltondo told the County Court in a pre-sentence hearing on Wednesday.

"I didn't really, like, set out to blow s*** up," Church told police after his arrest.

"I was just sitting there bored and just kind of made it, and it was there."

The first device, which was set off causing a loud explosion, contained nearly half a kilogram of shrapnel including nails, screws, bolts and fishing sinkers.

Burnt sparkler packets were also found inside the device, made from a paint can.

Other devices were made from aerosol canisters and brass pipe.

Church pleaded guilty to charges of unlawfully and maliciously causing an explosion, and making an explosive substance.

Police and firefighters were called after the explosion in the early hours of September 27 - a time Church said he had chosen because there wasn't likely to be people or cars around.

Residents nearby were asked to evacuate and others were advised to stay indoors.

After a short time Church approached police and asked if he could go home.

He told officers he heard some bangs and pops over a few nights and heard there was a pipe bomb filled with screws and washers.

Suspicious, officers searched his backpack and later his Waurn Ponds home where they discovered two more devices in his garage.

He told officers he hadn't set out to cause injury or damage and he understood the general concept of explosives but was "winging it" with the bomb-making.

Lawyer Carlin Grant said Church had catastrophic experiences in his childhood which contributed to diagnoses of significant mental illness in his late teens.

Drug use also contributed to his offending, but he had made no attempt to shirk or minimise his behaviour, he said.

Judge Justin Hannebery said he expects to hand down a sentence later this week which will allow Church to soon seek parole.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting