SA man granted bail on explosives charges

Aaron Ellis was arrested after police found an explosive known as "Mother of Satan" at his property.
Aaron Ellis was arrested after police found an explosive known as "Mother of Satan" at his property.

An Adelaide man charged with manufacturing and possessing explosives has been granted strict home detention bail, after a court heard he wanted to die by police shooting and threatened officers with a knife.

Aaron Ellis was arrested last month after police found a dangerous and highly volatile material known as Mother of Satan at his northern suburbs property.

Elizabeth Magistrates Court heard on Thursday Ellis should not be bailed because of concerns about his online activities and material found on his phone, including "anti-Islamic and patriotic imagery".

Police prosecutor Sergeant Carol Gallie said he had downloaded video footage of the Christchurch massacre and the shooter's manifesto.

She said a partially-constructed nail grenade was also found at his house, as well as instructions on how to make explosives and bombs.

"He's making extremely volatile explosive devices and... a detonation could have catastrophic effects on himself, on any person who is nearby," she said.

Sgt Gallie said police in 2007 attended Ellis' house with concerns for his mental health to find him holding one knife to his throat and another in his hand.

"They eventually talked him down, however on situation he told police that he wanted to die by police shooting and that he was going to lunge at police with a knife in his hand," she said.

But magistrate Gary Gumpl said there was no evidence to suggest Ellis intended to use his weaponry to harm the community and agreed to home detention bail with conditions.

Sgt Gallie immediately flagged an appeal, and Ellis' release will be postponed pending a potential Supreme Court challenge.

Mr Gumpl ordered him to reappear before the court in September.

After Ellis was taken into custody last month, police detonated the explosive material in four controlled blasts in the backyard of his home.

Police allegedly discovered a quantity of triacetone triperoxide (TATP) in a freezer in a shed at the Davoren Park house.

Speaking after the arrest, Acting Assistant Commissioner Craig Patterson said while the discovery was "extremely alarming" and investigations were continuing, there was no evidence Ellis was planning a terror attack.

He said Ellis had the initially come to the attention of police in February after a post on Facebook in which he said he "hated Muslims".

Australian Associated Press