Deighton man linked to NY grenades blast.
blast site A New York police officer in front of the building which houses the British consulate after two small makeshift grenades exploded
GRENADES used in an explosion outside the British consulate in New York had been bought by a Huddersfield man.
Inquiries have revealed that Barrie Colton, of Deighton, bought two harmless grenade shells from an internet business called Out In Style Inc.
But he is mystified as to how they came to be converted into bombs.
The novelty objects were made from grenade shells, but had no explosives inside.
Mr Colton, a freelance photographer, sent the grenades - one shaped like a pineapple and the other like a baseball - as an amusing gift to a friend, photographer Carmen Fuchs, in New York.
He says he bought the gifts three weeks before the explosion as a practical joke and intended his friend to use them as paperweights.
He said: "It really was a bizarre coincidence.
"The grenades were bought as a prank."
Police have not revealed how the grenades came to be filled with explosives and delivered by courier firm UPS to a postbox outside the consulate building on May 4.
No-one was injured in the explosion, though the blast prompted a security alert, causing police and firefighters to shut down a nearby underground station and close roads in the area.
Mr Colton, of Whitacre Close, was visited by Special Branch officers and contacted by the New York Police.
The owner of Out In Style Inc contacted police after the explosion to say someone had bought the grenades.
Mr Colton was identified by his email address and by his credit card details, which he used to pay for the grenades.
He said he had no idea how his gifts had become embroiled in the incident.
He added: "This has all been a bit stressful."
The explosion was at first thought to be the work of Islamic terrorists.
But another theory is that earth-moving equipment makers Caterpillar were the real target.