Dalkeith man cleared of explosives charge

The High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh
The High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh

A Dalkeith teenager who was found with an array of weapons more than a year ago was today (Wednesday) cleared of a serious explosives charge.

Ellis Archibald was also discovered to have chemicals and equipment that could be used to produce gunpowder.

Police also recovered notes at his home which included references to “my life is over but so is yours” and “commit murder and die young”.

Archibald, also known as D’Ellis Archibald, was charged with making or possessing explosive substances and equipment used in their manufacture in circumstances which gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that it was not for a lawful object at his then home in Elmfield Park, Dalkeith on November 20, 2018.

But a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh acquitted him of the offence under the 1883 Explosive Substances Act on a majority not proven verdict.

The court heard that police recovered potassium nitrate, sulphur and dextrin from his then home along with his collection of weapons including a crossbow, baseball bat, sword and knuckledusters.

They also found equipment such as a mortar and pestle and scales that could be used to produce low explosives, such as gunpowder.

Police had attended at the house after Archibald, who is now aged 20, phoned for an ambulance to get help after harming himself.

The court heard that he had anxiety and panic attacks and his mental health had worsened after he left a college course.

The Crown argued that when the explosive material and equipment was taken together with the weapons and his notes there was a reasonable suspicion that it was not for a lawful purpose.

But defence solicitor advocate Brian Gilfedder had contended that Archibald was involved in an experiment to make a tiny amount of black powder.

He said the notes that were found were “the ramblings of a troubled young man”.