Boy, 7, who was given metal detector for Christmas discovers World War Two 'bomb' in fields nearbySonny Carter found the 10lb capsule while out for a Boxing Day walkHis father became suspicious when rinsing off the mud-caked objectA relative who worked for the RAF armoury confirmed it was a shell
00:37 GMT, 29 December 2012
When he was given a metal detector for Christmas, seven-year-old Sonny Carter hoped to find buried treasure.
He tried it out on Boxing Day – and within 15 minutes the machine began bleeping.
Sonny found a heavy metal object caked in mud, which he dug up and took home. But as his father Jem Carter, 37, rinsed it in the sink, he realised it looked like an unexploded bomb.
The family alerted police and a bomb disposal team raced to their home in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. They examined the 11.5lb device and said it was an RAF practice bomb from the Second World War – which luckily did not contain explosives.
Amazing discovery: Sonny Carter, seven, was out walking with his brother Marley, nine, and their parents when he found a 10lb bomb with his new metal detector
Sonny's relieved mother, Tracey Wood, said today that, despite the drama, she was impressed that her son's National Geographic present had worked so well.
She said: 'We are dumbfounded that he discovered this on his first go.
'We are going to go out again to see if he can find something Roman. It has made our Christmas.
'It was caked in mud and Jem just thought it was a lump of metal and took it home.
'Sonny did become a little nervous with the arrival of the emergency services.'
The child had been enjoying a Boxing Day walk on Roydon Common for around 15 minutes with his parents and brother Marley, nine, when his metal detector started beeping.
Buried treasure: Sonny's father Jem became suspicious while rinsing off the muddy object (pictured) and contacted a relative who had served in the army during WWII and confirmed that it was a bomb
He dug up the treasure, but couldn't make out what it was – so he hurriedly bundled up the muddy object and took it home to wash it.
Concerned Mr Carter contacted his partner's father, Steve Wood, after uncovering the pointed end.
The grandfather, who had served more than 20 years in the RAF armoury, advised him to call 999 and place it in a bucket of cold water.
This was a precaution in case it was a German phosphorous bomb, which would ignite if dry.
Dangerous moment: A bomb disposal squad was dispatched to the family home and the mud-caked capsule was taken away
Bomb disposal experts from RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire rushed to the family home and identified the item as a 10lb British practice bomb head.
The bomb head still contained internal wiring and was taken away for disposal. It is believed to have been used in practice World War II bomb runs.
Luckily, the 10lb bomb head did not contain any explosive material.
Miss Wood, 39, a nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, added: 'Kids always love looking for treasure so we thought it would be a fun random present for his stocking.
'When it started buzzing we all thought it would be some two pence pieces or something like that – I never thought it would be anything this serious.
'It was all very exciting, the kids and Jem started digging and then our crazy dog started digging too.
'It was a big muddy lump when it came to the surface so we stupidly thought lets take it home.
'We feel a bit silly now we know it could have potentially been dangerous but it's not often we go exploring and end up with a bomb in a bucket of water at the end of the garden.
'I should imagine there was a few curtains twitching on our road on Boxing Day.
'There was the police and bomb disposal outside our house – the neighbours must have thought we were mad.'
The torpedo-shaped bomb was of no danger to the public but was deposed of.
Practice bombs were used in the first and second world war to allow military to practice without causing the same excess of damage as they would with a regular bomb.
Training pilots would also use the 10lb practice bombs as they were cheaper than the 1000-worth of bomb used in military attack.
RAF Wittering spokesman Flight Lieutenant Donald Earl has advised people to call police and not move suspicious items.
He said: 'We find a lot of bombs in Afghanistan with metal detectors but we don't tend to find them in the UK.
'We would urge members of the public to leave suspicious items in situ.'