Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire explosions: Seven men appear in court

Dandillion Avenue, Cheadle
A house on Dandillion Avenue in Cheadle was damaged by an explosion last August

Seven men have appeared in court charged with causing a series of explosions at houses in Staffordshire.

Three houses in Cheadle, Blythe Bridge and Weston Coyney were damaged in the explosions on 3 August.

The men appeared at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court charged with conspiracy to cause explosions of a nature likely to endanger life.

They are also charged with conspiracy to make threats to kill and conspiracy to blackmail.

Jason Taft, 41, of Greenfields Farm, Stoke-on-Trent, Thomas Richard Lesley, 55, and his son Thomas Lesley, 34, both from Belfast, and Andrew Boal, 32, from Ballygowan, Newtonards, County Down, were remanded in custody.

Edvinas Sermuksnis, 30, also from Belfast, 43-year-old Kevin Proctor from Stoke-on-Trent and Martin Drewery, 42, from the Staffordshire Moorlands, were released on police bail.

All seven are due to re-appear at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on 15 February along with three other men who have been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

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