Teenager remanded over Tube train 'suspicious device'
A teenager has appeared in court charged with sparking a security alert after an explosive device was found on a Tube train.
Damon Smith, 19, spoke only to confirm his name and address when he stood before senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Thursday.
He entered no plea to the charge of unlawfully and maliciously making or possessing an unspecified explosive substance with an intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.
However, defence counsel Simon Eastwood indicated that his client, who has a form of autism, would be pleading not guilty on the grounds that it was a prank.
Smith, of Abbeyfield Road in Southwark, south-east London, was held by Metropolitan Police after two members of the public discovered a backpack on a Jubilee line service on October 20.
It was handed to the driver, who inspected the backpack and found it contained a suspicious device, prompting the evacuation of North Greenwich Underground station.
A controlled explosion was carried out on the item, which comprised a flask, powder, ball bearings, a clock timing device, a battery and an initiator.
Police investigating the case searched another home in Devon, where Smith had lived until six months earlier, but found the device was not viable.
Smith, wearing a baggy grey-green jumper and grey trousers, smiled throughout the 18-minute hearing and waved in the direction of his mother in public gallery.
He was remanded in custody until his next appearance, at the Old Bailey, on November 17.