Man cleared over train bomb plot

A MAN accused of research bomb-making materials at his local library sobbed as he was cleared this week of plotting an atrocity.

Nicholas Roddis (28) was jailed for seven years in 2008 after he sparked a security alert by leaving a hoax bomb on a bus.

He was released early in January 2011 and within three months was using false identities to research explosives at public libraries.

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Prosecutors claimed the self-confessed trainspotter was plotting a Lawrence of Arabia-style attack, using high explosives to derail a locomotive.

Police uncovered a stash of railway fog detonator signals when they raided his home.

But Roddis was cleared of preparing for an act of terrorism after claiming he was simply preparing an appeal against his earlier conviction.

An Old Bailey jury returned a not guilty verdict on Wednesday after less than a day’s deliberation.

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Roddis burst into tears and his voice cracked with emotion as he told them: “Thank you so much.”

He has already been recalled to prison to serve the balance of his previous sentence and is not due for release until January next year.

During a three-week trial he claimed he was simply an internet geek who had been caught out by draconian anti-terrorism laws.

Roddis donned a false beard and moustache when he planted the fake bomb on the bus in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, in 2007 and was later convicted of two terrorism offences.

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The bomb was covered in brown paper and contained a cheap alarm clock, wires and nails.

He has always admitted the bomb hoax, claiming he did it for “a laugh”.

But he maintains he cannot understand why he is guilty of the second charge of preparing for an act of terrorism.

Earlier in the hearing, Roddis claimed he had used three small bottles of acetone found at his home to try to whiten his teeth, while hydrogen peroxide was used to tackle his problem warts.

Roddis, of Armstrong Walk, Maltby, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, denied engaging in conduct in preparation for an act of terrorism.