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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2007, 15:03 GMT
Ex-BNP man 'wanted to shoot PM'
Robert Cottage
Robert Cottage feared the UK was heading for civil war
A former British National Party (BNP) candidate who held explosive chemicals in anticipation of a civil war wanted to shoot Tony Blair, a court heard.

Robert Cottage, 49, from Colne, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to possession of explosives at the start of his trial at Manchester Crown Court.

His wife said he often boasted of wanting to shoot Mr Blair and Lib Dem peer Lord Greaves, the court was told.

Mr Cottage denies conspiracy to cause an explosion.

A second man, David Jackson, 62, of Nelson, Lancashire, denies both charges under the Explosive Substances Act.

Alistair Webster QC, defending, said Mr Cottage, of Talbot Street, was a former BNP candidate and had been the subject of threats.

The bomb they intended to make would have had the ability to cause damage or cause serious injuries
Louise Blackwell, prosecuting

He explained that his client believed the "political and financial condition of the country" would lead to civil war within the coming years.

Mr Cottage accepted the possession charge on the basis that the explosives were designed to deter attacks on his property, Mr Webster said.

The explanation was not accepted by the prosecution.

Louise Blackwell QC, prosecuting, said the case had come to light after Mr Cottage's wife became increasingly concerned about his behaviour.

Kerena Cottage suffered mental health problems and told her social worker that her husband had several crossbows and chemicals stored in his home.

David Jackson
David Jackson denies charges under the Explosive Substances Act

She also revealed he wanted to shoot Mr Blair and local peer Lord Greaves, Miss Blackwell told the court.

When police raided his house on 28 September 2006 they discovered 21 types of chemicals which, when combined, could form explosives.

Miss Blackwell said they also uncovered a document called the Anarchy Cookbook, which detailed how to make different types of bombs.

Ball bearings - which the prosecution claim could be used as shrapnel for explosive devices - were also found, along with four air pistols.

After interviewing Mr Cottage, detectives raided Mr Jackson's home on 1 October and found a bow and arrow and two nuclear protection suits.

Supplies 'stockpiled'

Miss Blackwell said: "The prosecution say these two men together agreed to order these chemicals... and they intended to make a bomb with them.

"The bomb they intended to make would have had the ability to cause damage or cause serious injuries."

Miss Blackwell also read out a statement on behalf of Mrs Cottage, who was unfit to attend court because of her mental health problems.

"Rob believes there will be a civil war and the emergence of a new world order," the statement said.

"Rob has also started stockpiling supplies," the statement added.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

Extracts from Robert Cottage's diary were read to the court

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