North East Wales

Ex-mayor of Denbigh, John Larsen, 'made fireworks, not bombs'

John Larsen
Image caption Former mayor John Larsen said he did not get a 'thrill' from his alleged actions

A former Denbigh mayor accused of causing a series of explosions in the town told a jury he "made fireworks, not bombs".

John Larsen, 46, said he played no part in the explosions in the Lenten Pool area between January and April.

Mr Larsen denies causing an explosion, possessing explosives and three arson attacks on cars.

He told Caernarfon Crown Court he did not get a "thrill" from his alleged actions.

Mr Larsen, a Liberal Democrat town councillor, denied the prosecution's claim that he created gunpowder for explosions.

"No, I didn't make any of the explosions," he told prosecutor Wyn Lloyd Jones.

Experimenting with fuels

Mr Lloyd Jones asked: "Were you getting a thrill from speaking to the newspaper?"

Mr Larsen replied: "No. I was asked to speak to the newspaper."

He also denied getting a thrill from appearing on television, claiming he only appeared on screen "for a couple of seconds".

Mr Larsen denied setting off an improvised explosive device on 24 March near his home with ball-bearings added as shrapnel.

But he has accepted experimenting with fuels for firework rockets in his garden.

Mr Larsen told the court he bought chemicals for magic tricks and others for fireworks.

Magic shows

The former stonemason, who stopped working in 2004 after injuring his back, said his hobbies were photography, fireworks and "hand magic".

He told the court he performed magic shows for family and friends.

But Mr Lloyd Jones suggested none of the items found at his home were related to magic or displays for children.

"That's incorrect," Mr Larsen said.

"I have been practising magic for a number of years."

Mr Lloyd Jones went on: "You have been practising explosions for three months."

"No, I haven't. I get fed up of being called a liar," Mr Larsen replied.

"I didn't do the explosions."

The trial continues.

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