Bomber took explosives to Ballarat hospital: theory

St John of God Hospital in Ballarat. File image.

St John of God Hospital in Ballarat. File image.

POLICE were warned bomber Glenn Sanders might have been visiting a Ballarat hospital wearing a vest filled with explosives weeks before he blew himself up at his Derrinallum farm.

Derrinallum plumber Gary Poole on Sunday said he told police Sanders was wearing into the hospital a device that potentially contained explosives.

“It wasn’t just a one-off time that he wore the vest to hospital. He did it all the time,” Mr Poole, a life-long friend of Sanders, said.

“I was contacted by Ballarat police several weeks before the incident with Glenn.

“They raised questions with me about a vest he was wearing. I confirmed that he had a vest and I believe it contained explosives.

“I told them I couldn’t guarantee whether they were real or fake, but I have seen enough explosives and detonators in my time to believe they were real.

“I warned them that I didn’t want to read in the newspaper about an explosion going off in the hospital.”

It is believed Sanders visited St John of God Hospital. The hospital’s chief executive officer, Michael Krieg, said he did not know whether that was the case.

When asked when he was informed of the risk posed by Sanders, Mr Krieg said: “I don’t even know that he was in my hospital, or if he did (wear explosives).”

Mr Krieg said he would not comment on anything to do with police operations. Victoria Police spokesperson Leonie Johnson would not confirm details of the case while the matter was before the coroner.

“I warned them that I didn’t want to read in the newspaper about an explosion going off in the hospital.” - Gary Poole, friend of Derrinallum bomber Glenn Sanders.

“The deceased’s movements leading up to the explosion will all form part of the investigation,” she said.

“While that is still under way and the matter is before the coroner, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

Police stepped in to arrest Sanders after Mr Poole lodged an official complaint about him on April 10.

Sanders had asked Mr Poole to help repair a car in the mechanic’s pit of his garage. But when the tradesman stepped down into the space, Sanders blocked the entrance and threatened him.

Mr Poole managed to escape and then spent several hours talking to Sanders.

“He was that paranoid. He was talking about unmanned drones and the CIA and the FBI watching him,” Mr Poole said.

“None of it made sense. I spent a lot of time talking to him, but it seemed as if he had gone too far.

“It did concern me enough to go to the police. I now hope it all comes out in the coronial inquest.”

andrew.ramadge@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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