A TORMENTED grandfather combed the internet for bombmaking instructions after a dispute with neighbours became too much for him, a court was told yesterday.

Police found Nicholas Smith in an agitated state when they responded to a complaint about eggs being thrown at his house, in Horden, County Durham, in May.

Police Constable Gary Fildes saw 53-year-old Mr Smith mixing household items, including lighter fuel, in a saucepan, making napalm.

When asked by the officer what he was doing, Mr Smith replied: “What does it f*****g look like? I am making a bomb.”

He was arrested immediately, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Mr Smith is on trial, facing two charges under the Explosive Substances Act.

The former Territorial Army volunteer has grown-up children, but daughter Melanie died a number of years ago, aged seven.

Dan Cordey, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Smith wrote about his despair over the problems he was having with neighbours, in Twelfth Street, on social network website Facebook, in the days leading up to his arrest.

He wrote: “Now I’m gonna die tonight. War has been declared [by neighbours]. Eggs thrown at me. To hell with the cops. I will burn them. I would rather be with Melanie.”

The jury was shown a printout of a web page taken from Mr Smith’s computer. It read: “Anarchist’s list, how to make a bomb, 22 ways to kill.”

Mr Smith had visited several websites about explosives after searching “how to make a bomb”, said Mr Cordey.

It is alleged that he also viewed articles on how to make napalm and Molotov cocktails.

PC Fildes told the jury that police arrived at Mr Smith’s home at 10.20pm, on May 8, but were immediately called away to another incident, returning about an hour later.

Various household items were seized, including a saucepan, cheese grater and soap, along with his computer.

During cross examination, PC Fildes told the defendant’s barrister, Nathan Rasiah, that Mr Smith had said: “Go on, lock me up,” as he was arrested.

Mr Cordey said Mr Smith had been bothered by antisocial behaviour from local youngsters in the weeks leading up to the incident.

He said: “It is clear, from the evidence, that the actions against him and his family had affected him, and it may be that he was coming to the end of his tether.”

He added: “The prosecution does not suggest, in this case, that the defendant’s actions were part of any detailed plan.

“We do say that, at the relevant time, he did have the necessary intention. The Crown accepts that we are not dealing with a man who is a terrorist, but charges of this kind are not designed purely for the most serious cases, such as that.”

Forensic scientist Lorna Phillip, who analysed materials seized from Mr Smith’s home, told the court her findings suggested he had been attempting to create a thickened fuel mixture.

She said the mixture would not have been explosive in itself, but it could have been described as napalm.

Ms Phillip went on to explain that napalm was originally a term for a specific chemical compound, but had evolved into a description for any thickened fuel that was used in improvised explosive devices, such as Molotov cocktails.

Mr Smith denies the charges against him.

The trial continues.