Dorset

'Cry for help' man guilty of having explosives at Wimborne home

Kevin Yates Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Kevin Yates was "begging for help" with his mental health, his barrister said

A man who told NHS staff he was a "danger to others" has been found guilty of possessing explosives and regulated substances.

Kevin Yates, 60, called the 111 number in a "cry for help" on 12 February, Bournemouth Crown Court heard.

Police arrived at his home in Wimborne, Dorset, and found chemicals, air rifles, shotgun cartridges, a crossbow, arrows and a number of knives.

He was remanded in custody for sentencing on 7 October.

Yates, of Hayes Close, had denied possession of an explosive substance and possessing a regulated substance.

His trial was told the former military aircraft designer had described himself as a "textbook weirdo" to an NHS 111 call handler.

During the call in the early hours, he said he was mentally ill, had stopped taking his medication, had lost his job and was having difficulties with his family, the court heard.

In a subsequent phone conversation, he told a paramedic: "I'm meddling in chemistry, in ordnance and if I don't put a handbrake on it, I'm worried it could go wrong."

Following a third call - in which he told a doctor he wanted someone to remove the items - police were called and found the chemicals and weapons, along with books containing ratios for making explosives, the trial was told.

His defence barrister David Freeland said Yates was "very safety conscious" and there was "no evidence of any radical views or beliefs".

"It was a curiosity that was clearly not acted upon," he told the jury.

Referring to the 111 calls, Mr Freeman said Yates' autism "affected his thinking and communication" and he had reached a point where he was "begging for help" with his mental health.

Image caption Police were called to the area in Wimborne at 03:15 GMT

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