British student sentenced to 15 years for planting metro bomb

London: A British student, who left a homemade bomb on a London tube train, was given a 15-year prison sentence at a court here.

Sentenced on Friday, 20-year-old Damon Joseph Smith was found guilty earlier this week of unlawfully and maliciously making or having in his possession or under his control an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property, Efe news reported.

The case followed an incident in October 2016, when British Transport Police officers at North Greenwich Underground Station found a rucksack containing a suspicious device in the front carriage of a train on the Jubilee Line.

The station was evacuated while specialist police officers made the item safe. Forensic examination showed it was improvised explosive device comprising of almost 153 gm of low explosive material and shrapnel, including ball bearings.

London’s Metropolitan Police said as events developed, several kilometres away Smith casually made his way to university.

During a search of the student’s home, police found a blank firing pistol, a gun, a knife and knuckleduster. When officers examined his social media accounts, they discovered Smith had “liked” a number of videos relating to explosions and had shared articles on social media about the current threat level.

Police discovered shredded documents found to be pages from an online magazine that gave instructions on bomb-making.

Commander Dean Haydon, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Whilst there is no connection between Manchester and Greenwich it brings into stark reality just how devastating it could have been. The bomb Smith made was a viable device, but it failed to detonate, which was our good fortune.”