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Man threatened to blow up cars after stockpiling chemicals

Patrick McCabe sparked a mass evacuation and forced controlled explosions in Dundee.

Court: Patrick McCabe jailed for 18 months.
Court: Patrick McCabe jailed for 18 months.

A man stockpiled chemicals and bomb-making instructions before telling police he was going to blow up bank workers' cars.

Patrick McCabe, who was later diagnosed with psychosis, sparked a mass evacuation and forced a series of controlled explosions at his flat in Dundee on December 5 last year.

The 65-year-old phoned a police control centre at around 11pm and told a call handler he was ex-SAS and had "purchased electrical components, a digital soldering iron and a book on improvised explosives, ammunition and guns".

He told them he was in a dispute with a bank and telecommunications company, and that police had not taken his complaints about them seriously.

As a result he planned to find out where staff at the two institutions parked their cars before planting bombs underneath their vehicles.

Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court that police attended his flat in Fairbairn Street and found chemicals stashed in his freezer.

She said: "The accused stated on the phone he had started making bombs and was 'going to shoot some ********'.

"When police attended he stated he had purchased a book on how to make bombs and bought equipment to make explosives.

"Police were assisted by members of the army bomb disposal squad. Residents in the block were evacuated and a cordon put in place.

"A number of chemical mixtures were found in his freezer and a number of controlled explosions took place."

McCabe, a prisoner at Perth, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of threatening and abusive behaviour.

Defence solicitor John Boyle said psychiatric reports confirmed McCabe was suffering from psychosis, although it was not deemed severe enough for him to require a hospital treatment order.

However, the psychiatrist deemed him as still presenting a risk to the public and his solicitor told the court he had "grave concerns" about his client's ability to engage with doctors if he was released into the community.

Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed McCabe for 18 months and said: "You have been diagnosed as suffering from a mental illness.

"I am therefore concerned about you as a man who is ill and that illness has contributed very significantly to the committing of this offence."

He added that although his illness was not currently severe enough to require treatment in hospital, a psychiatrist's report said he presents a risk to the public. 

He also imposed a nine-month supervised release order to allow his treatment to continue following his release from prison. 

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