Peter Hill, a former Territorial Army trooper in the Royal Armoured Corps, was detained last Wednesday under the Official Secrets Act, for allegedly attempting to sell classified military documents to the Russians. Mr Hill is understood to have been subject to surveillance by both MI5 and the police.
But when addresses in Leeds were searched, material was allegedly found that led to him being charged under the Explosive Substances Act. Last night, Hill, of Lambert Street Skipton, was bailed by police over the spying allegations. Although the alleged offence took place in Leeds, the serious nature of the case meant the Scotland Yard-based Special Branch, a part of the Metropolitan Police, was involved.
Hill, who is understood to have recently been working as a bailiff, was questioned at a police station in Leeds. Other accounts describe him as a risk analyst.
Charges against him say Hill had "an explosive substance, namely component parts including sodium chlorate, sugar, hexamine tablets, matches, bearings, a metal hollow tube and acetone".
The material is understood to be related to his service with the Territorials and has nothing to do with his alleged spying.
The Telegraph has accounted for this as a sting operation whereby he was approached by undercover agents posing as Russian spies. It has ben confirmed that the attempt to sell secrets relates to governmental rather than commercial concerns such as arms companies. The mainstream media has bought the line that this is evidence to back up the claims made about Russian spies made by the head of MI5 last week. They are happy to parrot the line that the explosives charge and questioning under the Official Secrets Act are entirely unrelated.
There are as usual a number of unanswered questions.
As a former trooper in the TA, how likely is it that he would have had access to top-grade secrets? Are the Russian secret services so desperate that they would want to deal with a TA trooper?
The explosive components: Hexamine is a solid fuel which in tablet form is used by the military and relief organizations for heating camping food or military rations. It burns smokelessly, has a high energy density, does not liquify while burning and leaves no ashes. It can be used in the production of explosives such as RDX
Sodium chlorate comes in dust, spray and granule formulations. There is a risk of fire and explosion in dry mixtures with other substances, especially organic materials, that is other herbicides, sulfur, phosphorus, powdered metals, strong acids. Particularly when mixed with sugar it has explosive properties.
Acetone (also known as propanone, dimethyl ketone, 2-propanone, propan-2-one and β-ketopropane) is a colorless, mobile, flammable liquid. It is the simplest example of the ketones. Acetone is miscible with water, ethanol, ether, etc., and itself serves as an important solvent.
Hill has been charged with possession of these for possible unlawful reasons. Here is another instance of the explosives act being used where a white suspect is concerned rather than the terrorism legislation used to target Irish, Muslims etc Naturally if Hill was Muslim there would be a media scrum outside his house.
Moreover, it seems a very big coincidence that he was active in Skipton, Leeds so close to where some of the alleged 7/7 bombers were based
Apparently, his bail conditions include that he must live at an address in Colne, Lancashire rather than his Skipton home.
Interestingly, it seems that Peter Stephen Hill stood as a Conservative for election to Pendle Borough Council in May for the Waterside ward which is close to Colne. He was not elected to the council as he only got 171 votes.
If anyone knows anything else please add to this