A ‘PATHETIC’ hoax caller who rang police and told them there was a bomb at Sheffield railway station has been spared jail.
David Jones, aged 34, of Bazley Road, Arbourthorne, telephoned South Yorkshire Police from a phone box and told the operator an IRA bomb was to be detonated in two minutes.
The station wasn’t evacuated as the prank call was made at just after 4.40am, when no trains were running and passengers were not in danger.
Sheffield Crown Court heard in interview Jones couldn’t define the IRA to police and was unaware the terrorist organisation had been on ceasefire for 15 years.
Elizabeth Martin, prosecuting, said Jones was caught on CCTV in a station phone box, with three friends waiting outside.
He told police: “There’s a bomb in the station, it’s going to go off in two minutes.”
She added: “CCTV cameras were moved to observe the kiosk and the defendant was seen coming out and joining his friends.”
Jones was arrested.
“He said he had taken four or five diazepam, had been drinking copious quantities of alcohol, and couldn’t remember anything.
“He admitted the person on the CCTV looked very similar to him, and confirmed the voice on the phone sounded like him.
“Police didn’t treat the call as genuine. There was no evacuation. The station is effectively shut at that time of night and no services were due.”
Matthew Stanbury, defending, said Jones had drug and alcohol problems and the offence was a ‘cry for help’.
He added: “It was a pathetic offence.”
Jones was jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years.