Golf ball bombers jailed for catastrophic injuries to teen
THE mother of an Ipswich teen who had his hands blown off after he picked up a golf ball bomb has told a court how the horrific incident had ruined her son's future.
She said her son, who cannot be named, had lost the meaning of life and love since the incident.
She said her son now spends his days suffering from post-traumatic stress and very rarely leaves his room.
Glen Charles Dell, 45, was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and a string of explosive related offences following a 10-day trial nearly two months ago.
His accomplice, Mark Anthony Tear, 39, was found not guilty of grievous bodily harm but guilty of a host of explosive-related offences at the same trial.
Both men pleaded guilty on Wednesday ahead of their sentencing to several other offences stemming from the incident on May 10, 2013.
Crown prosecutor Noel Needham told Ipswich District Court a group of friends found the golf ball bomb in Everdinah St before taking it to a house in nearby Dampier St where the explosion occurred.
He said the teen, 15, sustained catastrophic injuries in the blast and lost several digits from both hands.
"It was an incredibly dangerous item designed to explode," he said.
"It was designed to be shock, heat and friction sensitive.
"Let's not skirt around the truth, it was not a device, it was a bomb.
"The teen did not know he was holding a bomb ... he thought it was a golf ball - it was just unfortunate he was in possession of it when the music stopped.
"The fact the bomb was left in a street showed a callous disregard and a total dereliction of duty to others in the community."
The court was shown a series of graphic pictures of the teen's injuries taken pre and post surgery.
Tear could be hear mumbling "f**k me" under his breath when he saw the images and the scale of the teen's injuries.
The teen's mother told the court via a victim impact statement her son's world changed forever on that fateful day.
She said he was now just an empty shell.
"His life is destroyed . . . his body is there but he is gone," she said.
"I broke the one thing I promised him as a mother I would do and that is to protect him,"
Dell's barrister Andrew Hoare argued the bomb was designed to explode not designed to cause injury.
He submitted two parenting certificates Dell had complete - despite the court earlier hearing he left highly-dangerous explosives within metres of his young daughter.
"We admit there were grievous injuries sustained by a child, but no intent was proven at trial, only neglect," he said.
"Ultimately he (Dell) showed a gross neglect for himself and others in constructing these devices."
Mr Hoare told the court Dell had been having a tough time in prison and was in protective custody.
He asked for Dell to be released on immediate parole should a jail sentence be imposed because he wanted to be with his family.
Tear's barrister Stephen Kissick said ultimately his client was found not guilty at trial of the serious grievous bodily harm charge.
He said Tear blew off both his hands and parts of his genitals several months later in a separate incident at the Clay St, West Ipswich house the two men shared.
"All his adult life he has been interested in science and things that go bang," he said.
"He now has a lifetime reminder of his utter stupidity.
"It was a real wake up call for him and he knew he had to grow up."
Judge Sarah Bradley was scathing in her assessment of the two men and said their behaviour defied belief.
She said a custodial sentence was the only option available to her.
"TATP (used in the bombs) is an incredibly dangerous explosive," she said
"It is extremely unstable, dangerous and even the smallest amounts could cause harm or death.
"Both of you knew its destructive properties and the harm it could do"
Judge Bradley sentenced Dell to four years behind bars and set a parole eligibility date of May 24, 2017.
She sentenced Tear to 15 months behind bars but ordered he be released immediately on parole.
Dell launched into a tirade of abuse levelled at Judge Bradley after she handed down her sentence.
"This is f***ing bullshit . . . this is f***ing wrong," he said.
"It is absolutely f***ing wrong."
Dell's two daughters who were in court to support their father turned to Tear and told him he "had better watch himself" and "you will get what is coming to you."