Mosque Blasts: Murder Suspect Is Charged

A Ukrainian man accused of murdering a pensioner has also been charged with three offences related to explosions near three mosques.

Pavlo Lapshyn, 25, has now been charged in connection with blasts close to mosques in Walsall, Wolverhampton and Tipton.

He was charged on Monday with the murder of 82-year-old Mohammed Saleem, who was stabbed just yards from his house as he walked home from a mosque on April 29.

Police last week found debris from an explosive device close to a mosque in Wolverhampton shortly after arresting Lapshyn - who was detained along with another Eastern European man.

Remnants from a home-made explosive device were also found outside a mosque in Walsall on June 22, and another device, containing nails, exploded near a mosque in Binfield Road, Tipton, on July 12.

No-one was injured in the explosions.

Lapshyn is now charged with carrying out a series of acts with the intention to commit acts of terrorism.

He also faces two separate offences of unlawfully and maliciously causing an explosion with the intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to a person or property.

It is alleged he bought batteries, chemicals, a lunch bag, clock and computer for making explosive devices, as well as carrying out internet research and visiting intended locations to plant the devices.

Prosecutors also claim he modified mobile phones to act as detonators.

Lapshyn is a student on a sponsored work placement at a software firm based in the Small Heath area of Birmingham.

Police have said they do not believe there is any "ongoing threat from this case", but they are working with the Ukrainian authorities to look into Lapshyn's past.

The new charges came during a 10-minute hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Wearing a black round-neck top with short-cropped hair, he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth and to request to speak to his lawyer.

He was remanded in custody and will next appear at a bail hearing at the Old Bailey on July 25.