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UK jury acquits man who spoke of violent fantasies

Tuesday - 4/2/2013, 11:10am  ET

LONDON (AP) -- A British man who confided to his psychiatrist that he had fantasies of carrying out a deadly chemical strike was cleared of criminal charges on Tuesday.

Police raided Duncan Railton's home near London last year after psychiatrist James Ovens told them of his patient's violent fantasies, including one of using nerve gas on a bus.

Ovens said Railton also referred to the Bruce Willis movie "12 Monkeys," in which most of humanity is wiped out by a virus.

Prosecutors said dozens of harmful substances were found at Railton's home, including some that could make chlorine gas. They alleged that he planned to use them in an attack on the transit system.

Prosecution lawyer Graham Smith said Railton "was planning to kill and cause serious physical harm to numerous members of the public."

Railton, a 41-year-old laboratory assistant, denied possessing dangerous or noxious substances with intent to commit an offense.

He said the substances were for chemistry experiments and claimed discussing his fantasies had been a cry for help.

After he was acquitted at Guildford Crown Court, Railton thanked "the good sense of the jury."

"I never did intend to hurt anybody, and the unanimous jury verdict now puts that beyond doubt," he said.

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