Ex-soldier who threatened to detonate hand grenade sentenced to six years

Six years in prison for ex-soldier who threatened to denonate grenade

Lucy Golding

Ex-soldier who threatened to detonate hand grenade sentenced to six years
Sean Hemans
A former soldier who threatened to detonate a hand grenade in the presence of three people in Windsor has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Sean Hemans, of Sawyers Close, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was handed the sentence yesterday at Reading Crown Court.

On March 4, Hemans, who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as depression, pulled the pin from a practice grenade whilst saying he wanted to 'end it,' in close proximity to three other people at his flat in Dedworth.

Hemans had been drinking and was 'angry and upset', a state attributed to the breakdown of his marriage and his experiences at war. 

Those at the scene were unaware the hand grenade was not real.

Hemans ran off with the grenade and was eventually tracked down in Wentworth Avenue in Britwell, Slough

Later that day police found a live hand grenade in Hemans' lock up garage.

The grenade is believed to have been transported home by Hemans from Afghanistan in 2007.

The father-of-two will serve four years for possession of firearms and two years for inducing someone to believe an explosion was imminent.

He will have the opportunity for parole after three years.

Judge Peter Ross said: "Having taken the pin out in the proximity of others he knew and they knew that death or injury would have been sustained if it had gone off.

"They believe they would be blown up and the evidence was clear."

The 35-year-old has also been given a restraining order.

Hemans will be prohibited from contacting his wife, from entering Windsor and from going within 100m of his church in Slough, The New Testament Church of God in Herschel Street.

During the sentencing the judge made references to Dale Cregan who killed two police officers with a grenade in Manchester last year.

He said: "This illustrates the huge risk that exists when hand grenades are available within the community."

Heman's defence lawyer Neil Griffin said: "This man in the docks was not the sort of man who would use this for deadly use.

"Although this was a grave matter potentially that grave matter never materialised."

He added: "We can begin to imagine the depth of which he had sunk. This was a broken man unable to make rational decision that night."

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