A bomb maker who caused the closure of a town street while Army explosive experts were called in has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Cardiff Crown Court heard that Martin Johnson was found making an explosive device in April 2021 when police executed a search warrant at a flat in Trem-Y-Mynydd, Blaenavon.

The 55-year-old, now of Nether Court in Greenmeadow, Cwmbran, admitted a charge of making an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose between January 1, 2020, and April 8, 2021.

The road was closed off and residents evacuated around 9pm on April 7, 2021, while the bomb disposal squad rushed to the scene to deal with an improvised explosive device (IED) found at the premises.

Judge David Wynn Morgan made Johnson, who has been remanded in custody awaiting sentence since admitting the offence at the end of last year, the subject of a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act.

The order initially lasts for six months, but can be extended by a clinician.

A spokesperson for Gwent Police said at the time of Johnson’s arrest: “Officers carried out a search warrant of an address in Trem-Y-Mynydd, Blaenavon, at around 5.50pm on Wednesday, April 7.

“A 54-year-old man from the Blaenavon area was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Explosives Act.

“He remains in police custody and is assisting officers with their enquiries.

“Specialist trained personnel from the Army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit (EOD) attended as a precaution.

“There is no ongoing risk posed to members of the community and this is not thought to be linked to terrorism.”