A man who detonated a low explosive device in the presence of police officers has admitted the offence in court.

Police attended an address in Carr Court, Davenport Close, shortly before 10am on 28 August last year to arrest 54-year-old Damian Mazurkiewicz for an unrelated matter.

Attending officers entered the address where they found Mazurkiewicz holding an imitation firearm.

Mazurkiewicz was challenged by officers before he pressed a trigger switch he had in his hand. This resulted in a burst of black smoke being released from a black box attached to his body.

Officers deployed Taser before removing Mazurkiewicz from the address along with the low explosive device.

Local residents were evacuated from their homes while the Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal team (EOD) attended the scene to make the device safe.

Mazurkiewicz, of Davenport Close in Gosport, was subsequently charged with doing an act with intent to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or damage property, and possession of an imitation firearm.

He initially denied the offences and the case went to trial at Winchester Crown Court on Wednesday 21 February this year. However, he then pleaded guilty to the offences of doing an act with intent to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or damage property, and use of an imitation firearm to resist arrest on the first day of the trial.

Mazurkiewicz was remanded in custody to appear at Portsmouth Crown Court for sentencing on 27 March.

Inspector Sam Warne said: “This incident had a significant impact and caused disruption within our local community over a bank holiday during the summer holidays where, working with partners, we needed to evacuate many households in the area and provide support, advice and shelter for displaced residents.

“Managing this incident on the day, I was impressed with the friendly community spirit in which the people of Alver Valley worked with police and partners to share the safety message and respond to our control of the incident. The quick and decisive actions taken by police on the day saw the area brought back to some normality late in the evening.”

Chief Inspector Chris Spellerberg, District Commander for Fareham & Gosport, said: “I would like to commend the professionalism and courage of our officers on that day, from a routine deployment this quickly escalated into an incident which could have caused serious injury to them and the community.

“Our officers ran towards danger, put their own lives at risk to protect those of their colleagues and the public. Along with the excellent work of our investigating officers and many other teams and colleagues who supported the initial response and complex investigation, we have ensured the safety of the community and ultimately led to today’s conviction.

“It is incidents such as these which exemplify our police service, delivering exceptional local policing for our communities in Gosport.”