Man to stand trial over claims he had arsenal of ‘doomsday weaponry’

A Ballymena man will stand trial next year accused of having an arsenal of doomsday weaponry after he denied the offences today.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 11:12 am
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 1:44 pm

Appearing at Antrim Crown Court by videolink from his solicitor’s office, 35-year-old Robert James Templeton entered not guilty pleas to ten charges.

Templeton, from Shancoole in the town, faces accusations of having explosives substances and ammunition under suspicious circumstances, attempting to convert an item into a firearm, importing a friction lock baton, possessing a stun gun and possessing documents likely to be of use to a person “committing or preparing an act of terrorism,” all alleged to have been committed on 5 July 2019.

At one stage Templeton’s wife Natasha had been a co-accused but the PPS chose not to proceed against her.

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Amongst the component bomb parts Templeton is alleged to have possessed are “various chemicals, electrical components, metallic piping and stop end caps, pyrotechnic devices, propellant, initiation devices (or parts thereof), tools, and shrapnel,” while he is also alleged to have shotgun cartridges and two different types of bullets.

Previous courts heard how Mrs Templeton told police both she and her husband, who is a diagnosed schizophrenic, are Christians and were preparing for “end times”. During an earlier hearing a detective said that was believed to be a reference to the “apocalypse” and the “second coming”.

In court today prosecuting QC Samuel Magee confirmed that despite the nature of the offences, the case will be heard in front of a jury and defence counsel Eoghan Devlin agreed the trial would “probably take a week”.

Freeing Templeton on continuing bail, Judge Patricia Smyth listed the trial on 14 February next year with a reviews of the case on 30 September.