A MAN accused of possessing bomb-making materials and a prohibited weapon has been freed from custody.

Philip Prout was granted bail by Judge Peter Armstrong when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

He was given conditional bail after the court heard how the homeless 46-year-old now has an address with a relative in the Grangetown area of Teesside.

Mr Prout was ordered to report to police three times a week until the case is back before the court on October 4.

In the meantime, items said to have been recovered from Mr Prout's former home in Burnsville Road, Grangetown, are being examined by forensic experts.

Prosecutor Richard Parsell told the court that Mr Prout was facing charges of illegally possessing or controlling explosive substances and a sawn-off shotgun, shotgun cartridges and firearms ammunition.

Mr Parsell said charges relating to explosives required the approval of the Attorney General before they could be included in a formal indictment, which could result in delays to the case.

The application to the Attorney General could not be made until a full forensic examination had been made of items allegedly found at Mr Prout's former home.

Mr Parsell said the case arose after Mr Prout's home was compulsorily purchased by the local council. However, workmen became concerned and called the police, who in turn called out the fire brigade and army bomb disposal officers.

Items recovered, said Mr Parsell, included a tilt switch, petrol, sugar and other substances such as fertilizer and nitric acid, which, mixed together, could provide explosive materials.

Mr Parsell said that there was "a military involvement" in the forensic examination procedures although the case was not considered a matter involving terrorism.