A man has been jailed for 15 months after setting off an explosive device outside Stamford and Bourne MP Nick Boles’ office.
Paul Leverseidge, 24, of Marquess Court, Bourne, strapped 1p and 2p coins to fireworks before throwing the device at the headquarters of Mr Boles office in North Street, Bourne.
The force of the explosion shook nearby properties and hurled the coins up to 100 feet away. Car alarms were activated but damage to the building was limited to a smashed window and there were scorch marks on the pavement outside.
Richard Thatcher, prosecuting, said Leverseidge, who lived in a flat opposite the Planning Minister’s office, had earlier set off a powerful firework which caused a loud bang likened by one nearby resident to the sound of gun shot.
Soon afterwards, he lit the device causing a second, louder explosion, which was followed by the sound of breaking glass.
Residents went out to see what had happened and saw 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 offender 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 admitted a charge of having an explosive substance in suspicious circumstances on June 10. 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 did not have counselling or therapy. He did not come to terms with the loss.”
Mr Milligan said Leverseidge developed mental health problems and on the night of the incident 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 Leverseidge: “I cannot do anything other than pass a custodial sentence.”