Dad threatened to blow himself up — (Bucks Free Press)

SSRI Ed note: Man, 26, takes antidepressants, after girlfriend breaks off relationship drinks, plants an explosive device, threatens to blow himself up, is apprehended.

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Bucks Free Press

A DEPRESSED dad who warned cops he had left a bomb at his ex-girlfriend’s house has pleaded guilty to threatening to blow himself up.

Richard Rackstraw, from Maidenhead, was arrested on Saturday, August 4 at the back of the Tesco Express store in Wooburn Green where he phoned police claiming he was ready to kill himself.

He was immediately taken into custody and put on cell watch where he confessed to leaving a bomb at his ex-girlfriend’s house in Flackwell Heath.

He said: “I planted something, you’ll find out what at 12 o’clock, it’s more serious than drugs.”

He also told officers he had been in the army and was trained in explosives.

Rackstraw, 27, from Ray Mill Road West, was physically shaking and burst into tears as he admitted his guilt at Aylesbury Crown Court on Friday. The court heard tapes of a desperate phone call between Rackstraw and the police. He made two calls at around 8am lasting 80 minutes in total.

Emergency services rushed to the back of the store in The Green and it was evacuated after Rackstraw told the operator he had tampered with the generator.

When officers arrived he told them he had anthrax on him and warned them to come no further than the carpark or he would blow himself and Wooburn Green up.

The car park, shop and surrounding streets were cordoned off as the police restrained Rackstraw after spraying him in the face with a captor aerosol.

During his preliminary hearing in August it was said Rackstraw had been drinking to excess the night before he threatened to blow himself up, which mixed “badly” with the medication he took for depression and he “lost control”.

Lisa Kiff, for the prosecution, said: “He admitted he has a problem when he takes alcohol alongside medication.”

Miss Kiff told the court Rackstraw had been going out with the girl in Flackwell Heath for nine months but when she broke up with him in April he bombarded her with text messages and phone calls. The harassment became so bad the girl’s family had to unplug all the phones.

When he called the police from Tesco, Rackstraw said he wanted to see his ex to show her “the pain she had caused him” and said he had gunpowder and magnesium powder on him.

Police later confirmed no explosive items were found on him and the bomb threat at Tesco was not linked to terrorism.

David Hicks, for the defence, said in August: “This has never happened before. Mr Rackstraw would say this is a one off.”

Rackstraw has tried to commit suicide while in custody and is taking anti-depressants.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of false communication with intent and one charge of affray. He will undergo a psychiatric report before returning for sentencing on December 18.