THIS illegal haul of fireworks could have caused carnage after being stored in the garage of a man’s home.
Almost 700kgs of high explosives – with names such as Screaming Missiles and Hell Fire Barrage – were left stacked alongside a chemical drum, highly-flammable brake cleaner and cigarette lighters.
Trading Standards officers found the deadly consignment in cardboard boxes in Steven Taylor’s garage and annexe on Victoria Road West in Cleveleys.
They were being stored in a “dangerous manner” and Taylor had no licence to keep them at his property.
District Judge Jeff Brailsford told him: “You had a massive amount of flammable explosive material in your garage and annexe.
“I do not think you put it there to try and conceal it. But you dumped them not giving a thought to the huge amount of carnage which could have followed.
“It was a crassly stupid thing to do.”
Nick McNamara, principal officer for Lancashire County Council Trading Standards, said the fireworks in Taylor’s home posed an enormous risk to the public and nearby property.
He said: “In the garage, as well as finding loose fireworks and fireworks in open transit cartons, officers also found a chemical drum marked kerosene, a drum marked brake cleaner, a moped, tools, animal beds, clothing and boxes of cigarette lighters, any or all of which were potential ignition or combustion risks.
“In the annexe it was a similar story with loose fireworks being stored close by Christmas decorations and hi-fi equipment.
“The judge calculated there was a considerable amount of raw explosives. The judge even said he wouldn’t like to contemplate the carnage it could have caused.”
Trading Standards were called to 45-year-old Taylor’s home on May 25 following reports of live fireworks being stored there.
Officers discovered 32 transit cartons containing a mixture of fireworks in selection boxes and loose pyrotechnics in the garage.
In a side annex to the house another 27 transit cartons and three evidence bags full of loose fireworks were seized.
In total there was 690kgs or 108 stone of fireworks – the equivalent of the weight of nine male adults..
Taylor admitted storing fireworks without a licence and keeping them in a dangerous manner at Blackpool Magistrates Court.
Both charges were brought under the Explosives Act.
The father-of-three was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £1,250 costs.
The court heard when Taylor was interviewed he admitted what he had done was wrong. He told the court the fireworks had been bought from wholesalers and were left over following sales to the public from a shop on Mowbray Drive, Layton.
Taylor said he thought some of the stock was water damaged.
He said he was struggling financially and although he did have properties they were in negative equity and might be repossessed.
The fireworks were made the subject of a forfeiture order and will be kept by Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards department.