Surrey

Man cleared of planning Surrey bus poison plot

A Surrey man who was accused of keeping dangerous substances at his home amid claims he was planning to carry out a poison gas attack has been cleared.

Duncan Railton, 41, of Cranmer Close, Warlingham, had denied possessing dangerous or noxious things with intent to commit an offence.

Jurors at Guildford Crown Court found Mr Railton not guilty on Tuesday.

Following his acquittal, Mr Railton said he wanted to get on with his life after spending six months in custody.

It had been claimed he wanted to carry out an attack on a bus, but Mr Railton said he was interested in science.

Speaking after the case, Mr Railton said: "I am very grateful to my legal team and the good sense of the jury.

'Textbook experiments'

"I never did intend to hurt anybody, and the unanimous jury verdict now puts that beyond doubt.

"I have been held in custody for six months and two days for a crime I did not commit.

"I want to now put all of this behind me, and get back to work and get on with my life."

During the trial, jurors heard Mr Railton told psychiatrist James Ovens about fantasies about carrying out an attack.

Graham Smith, prosecuting, said: "He was planning to kill and cause serious physical harm to numerous members of the public.

"He was planning to do this by releasing a chemical on public transport - he thought most likely a bus."

Dr Ovens broke patient confidentiality and notified police who arrested Mr Railton and raided his home, the court heard.

Jurors were told Mr Railton was found to have "dozens and dozens" of hazardous substances.

But when Mr Railton gave evidence, he apologised to police and the public and said: "Obviously I've caused a lot of anxiety and worry, and people listening to this case will be worried."

When asked by defence barrister George Hepburne-Scott whether people should be worried, Mr Railton said: "No."

He told the court he had been interested in chemistry since his schooldays and kept chemicals at home to carry out "classic textbook experiments".

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