Ex-soldier detonated explosives in forest ‘to clear his head’

Belfast High Court Building
Belfast High Court Building

A former soldier accused of having explosives containing shrapnel claimed he detonates them in a forest “to clear his head”, the High Court has heard.

Police discovered a batch of improvised explosives at John Rankin’s home after intercepting blank-firing gas pistols in the post.

The 51-year-old allegedly fought in the Falklands War and has been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder since being discharged from the Army, prosecutors said.

Rankin, of Edward Road in Whitehead, faces charges of having firearms and explosives in suspicious circumstances.

After studying a medical report, Mr Justice O’Hara decided to grant bail.