Man faces Newport bomb hoax charge

South Wales Argus: ACCUSED: Phillip Balmont leaves Newport Magistrates’ Court ACCUSED: Phillip Balmont leaves Newport Magistrates’ Court

A MAN appeared in court yesterday on a bomb hoax charge after an incident which brought a main artery into Newport to a standstill.

Phillip Balmont of Tyntyla Avenue, Pentre, is charged with placing an article with intent in Newport, which led to members of the armed forces having to attend who carried out a controlled detonation.

Balmont, 28, will now go before the crown court, magistrates decided. The charge against him alleges that on April 4, he placed a ‘creatine tub’ with wires attached to it and a plastic bag filled with powder, at the Wickes store on Barrack Hill, Newport. The charge alleges he did so intending to cause others to believe it was likely to explode or ignite and cause personal injury or damage to property.

Balmont gave no indication of plea at Newport Magistrates’ Court . The incident happened at the hardware store at the Harlequin roundabout, near Shaftesbury Park. People faced three hours of disruption in Newport with road closures and a 100 metre cordon around the area.

After 11.30am, dozens of police vans, ambulances and two fire engines attended and cordoned off the end of Barrack Hill, Evans Street and the top of Malpas Road, blocking traffic to the roundabout. Buses were disrupted and shoppers unable to return to their cars. Wickes, neighbouring Aldi staff, and nearby residents, were evacuated as a precaution.

An army disposal team was called in and a remote controlled robot was used. Police later confirmed the package was not explosive.

Balmont’s case was sent to Newport Crown Court, where it will be heard next week. He remains on conditional bail, where he must stay at an allocated address.

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