Grenade ‘used as a toy’ sparks alert

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An Army bomb disposal team had to be called in after a woman told police her children were using a hand grenade as a toy.

Mother-of-five Jackie Cornell sparked an evacuation of homes on her street on Saturday after calling police for advice.

The 52-year-old decided to have a clear-out after the end of her marriage and had called police because she wanted to sell nine legally-held replica pistols she had found.

Mrs Cornell said that when the officers arrived they asked was there anything else in the house, to which she replied: “‘No, except the grenade the kids play with’. It has been sat in a box in the kitchen for ages.” Mrs Cornell’s children believed it was a inactive.

Police inspected the grenade before deciding to clear the area and call in the Army. Officers cordoned off an area of the street in Pontefract and neighbouring houses were evacuated at around 1.30pm and not allowed to return to their homes until around 9pm.

Mrs Cornell later apologised to her neighbours for inconveniencing them.