A man sparked a lockdown after claiming he had built a homemade bomb.

Christopher Scarr, 41, was snared with the device in a cupboard at the property in Glasgow's Springburn on April 17 2023. Residents had been evacuated from the Petershill Road area. 

Scarr had earlier emailed a doctor's surgery that he had built a device.

He stated: "They might force me into something I don't want to do."

Scarr also claimed to nurses that he learned how to make bombs from "being in the army."

Officers raided his property and found a device made of three black tubes with orange wire twisted on to a black box.

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Around 60 residents were forced to flee their homes, a large police cordon was put in place and roads were closed.

The device was later found to be three pyrotechnics held together for outside use which would flash and bang when activated.

Scarr pleaded guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.

He also admitted making or knowingly have in his possession or control an explosive substance.

The court heard that Scarr sent a ranting email to Springburn Medical Practice shortly after midnight on April 17.

He said: "I don't know why I trusted you with information I never divulged to any soul.

"The housing officer sent armed police to my door and that got me angry as last time I saw you they alleged I assaulted Helen.

"I have built a TRI factor bomb with black powder igniting the thermite and causing nitrogen high explosive all connected to three anti-personal percussion mines that are also friction activated.

"I will take a picture of the device I constructed, I have now taken the device apart. but I'm really worried that they might force me into something I don't want to do.

"I don't want to kill anybody but I'm finding it hard to keep my cool."


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Members of staff at the practice alerted police to the email.

Two nurses attended Scarr's home for a check up on Helen Stewart who also lived at the property.

Scarr told them that he purchased oxygen tanks to provide care for the woman's COPD and that he had guns in his gas cupboard.

A nurse later found oxygen bottles in the cupboard and told Scarr not to administer them to Miss Stewart.

Scarr then said: "I can make bombs from being in the army."

Police then attended Scarr's home when a search was carried out.

Scarr was asked why he sent the e-mail and he stated that he had deactivated the device.

Scarr told officers that he was "happy" for them to search the property but said: "You are not going in the gas cupboard."

Prosecutor Alasdair Knox said: "Officers looked in the cupboard and what looked to be an improvised explosive device was within.

"Police evacuated all witnesses from the building, there was a 200 metre police cordon and road closures. 60 residents were evacuated for public safety measures."

Scarr was arrested where he made admissions but added that he did not put powder or a battery in the device.

He said: "I can go up and deactivate it for you."

The device was examined by specialist officers where it was found to contain an explosive substance.

It was stated that "the initiation system of the suspected device was not viable."

Once ignited, the device would be thrown to the ground and five seconds later it would explode with a flash then a loud bang.

Knox said: "The misuse or modification of such pyrotechnic items is a hazardous activity that has the potential to accidently initiate any of the contained explosive substance causing injury to people and damage to property nearby at the time of ignition.

"Such pyrotechnic items are designed to be used in the open, away from flammable material."

Greg Cunningham, defending, told the court: "He was at the end of his tether for his mental health.

"What he was talking about was not this device and police did not find anything pertaining to it.

"They found this modified purchasable item which would have a flash and loud bang.

"Had he not sent that e-mail no one would be any the wiser.

"He has served the equivalent of a 22 month sentence on remand for something that has a loud bang."

Sheriff Andrew Cubie replied that he did not accept the explanation adding: "This isn't something that goes bang in a vacuum.

"He did this in the context which caused the staff at the practice to be concerned and called the police."

Sentence was deferred until May pending background reports and Scarr's remand in custody was continued meantime.