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TWO Pendle men have appeared before Pennine magistrates accused of having "a master plan" after what is believed to be a record haul of chemicals used in making home-made bombs was found in Colne.
Robert Cottage (49), of Talbot Street, Colne, and David Bolus Jackson (62), of Trent Road, Nelson, made separate appearances before the court charged with being in possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose. The offences are under the Explosive Substances Act 1883.
Both men were remanded in custody to appear at Burnley Crown Court on October 23rd. Cottage was arrested at his home on Thursday, while retired dentist Jackson was arrested in the Lancaster area on Friday, the same day as he left a dental practice in Grange-over-Sands.
The 22 chemical components recovered by police are believed to be the largest haul ever found at a house in this country.
Cottage is an ex-BNP member who stood as a candidate in the Pendle Council elections in May.
Mrs Christiana Buchanan, who appeared for the prosecution in Jackson's case, alleged the pair had "some kind of masterplan".
She said a search of Jackson's home had uncovered rocket launchers, chemicals, BNP literature and a nuclear biological suit.
Thanks for your e-mail and sorry for the delay in replying. We had planned to cover this issue on last week's NewsWatch programme, but unfortunately had to drop the item at the last minute because we couldn't confirm information we needed to make sure our report didn't break the law.
The simple answer is that the national BBC should have covered this but missed the story - it was featured on BBC Radio Lancashire, where the offences occurred, but should have had wider coverage nationally. However, it's also interesting that of the national newspapers, only the Sunday Times carried any mention of the case at all.
I think this is partly down to the way the police locally handled the whole thing - and there have been discussions about the lack of information coming from them.
However, I should point out that much of the information you may have read on various websites goes far beyond what should be reported once people have been arrested and charged, and the BBC could not have given anywhere near that much detail of the case.
But I'm told there will definitely be someone covering next Monday's court hearing in Burnley.
I hope that's useful,
Yes, that should be fine - it's good of you to ask, as most people go ahead and post replies anyway!
I was very disappointed that we couldn't cover this on NewsWatch, as that's exactly what the programme is for. I think the BBC should be open about situations like this, even though I know not everyone will believe them!