BNP activist charged with explosives and firearms offences

A LEADING British National Party activist and Suffolk farmer has been charged by police with a number of explosives and firearms offences.

Anthony Bond

A LEADING British National Party activist and Suffolk farmer has been charged by police with a number of explosives and firearms offences.

David Lucas, 49, who once caused controversy for building gallows and selling them to African countries with poor human rights records, was charged yesterdayfollowing his arrest in April.

Lucas, of South Road in Lakenheath, stood as one of the eastern region British National Party (BNP) candidates for the European elections in June. He is also a Lakenheath parish councillor.

He has been charged with possession of explosives under suspicious circumstances, possession of an explosives substance without an explosives licence, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life, possession of ammunition without a firearms certificate and two counts of possession of prohibited ammunition.

The charge of possession of explosives under suspicious circumstances can only be brought by police with the authorisation of the Attorney General.

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But last night the BNP accused Suffolk Constabulary of persecuting Lucas because he stood for the far-right party.

Simon Darby, the deputy leader of the BNP, said Lucas' “troubles” started after he was announced as a candidate for the European election.

“I think the police have got it in for him,” he said. “I would imagine that it is to do with his capacity as an agricultural rural chap. It is just one of the many things that ordinary rural people have to deal with when you have got a politically motivated police force.

“Obviously if he needs help we will give him that but we will have to see how it pans out. He had a very successful business there and a big market on his farm so he is very well thought of in the area.”

Lucas caused controversy in 2006 when it emerged he was building gallows for export.

The execution equipment he sold ranged from single gallows, at about �12,000 each, to “Multi-hanging Execution Systems” mounted on lorry trailers, costing about �100,000.

He also allowed the BNP's eastern region to use his barns for a local 'Battle for Britain' fundraising event in the run-up to the European elections.

Last night, David Gathercole, chairman of Lakenheath Parish Council, said he could not comment on the charges against Lucas. But he said: “Unless he is found guilty, he is still an innocent man and can still sit on the parish council.”

Lucas is due before West Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Bury St Edmunds on November 10.