Bomb threat man jailed

14/09/2012

A depressed loner who threatened to bomb Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street and all flights from Gatwick airport has today, Friday, 14 September 2012, been jailed for 15-months.

Vinnie Chavda also sent malicious and threatening letters to two bank managers following a grievance with Lloyds TSB.

Chavda demanded that millions of pound in cash should be delivered in black holdalls to the garden of his flat in Luton, Bedfordshire, and wanted the Prime Minister to change the immigration laws, after he was once challenged entering the country even though he has British citizenship.

The letters also made threats to the families of the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the two bank managers of Lloyds branches in Luton and Dunstable and were signed as though they had come from the 'Krananga' terrorist group.

Simon Heptonstall, for the Crown Prosecution Service said when Chavda was arrested on 20 February this year at his flat in Wellington Street, Luton they found the cabin layouts for the A340 and A380 planes, a local newspaper cutting about a chemical explosion, the Argos catalogue numbers for the holdalls he wanted the money delivered in and the SIM card for the mobile phone number he had given.

He admitted being the author of the letters and an e-mail, but blamed his actions on being depressed.

Chavda, 31, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to four charges of communicating false information with intent and two charges of sending letters containing threats.

Judge Richard Foster told him on Friday: "These threats were made prior to the Olympic Games when there were heightened security concerns in London.

"You told police you did not think you would be taken seriously, but hoaxes of this kind which have the potential to cause disruption require deterrent sentences.

"You have a personality disorder which is not a mental illness, and I can see absolutely no alternative to an immediate custodial sentence."

Stephen Halloran, defending said: "He lives in a fantasy and his personality disorder is difficult to treat. He requires in depth help to stabilise his behaviour.

"The correspondence was distasteful and inappropriate, but they were also rambling and reveal the type of behaviour which points towards someone with mental health problems."

He said the letters were not seen by the bank managers as all their mail is opened at a central processing unit.

The court heard the first letter was sent to Nos 10 and 11 Downing Street on 19 January this year. It said: "Regarding the destruction of London and surrounding cities. There will be a series of explosions and loss of life if my demands are not met."

He said the destruction would begin on 23 January when all flights leaving Gatwick would explode, and said he wanted £5.5 million in cash, later demanding £50 million. He wrote: "This is not a game, this is for real, the clock is ticking."

On 18 February he sent an e-mail to the No 10 website in which he put his actual address, although the wrong flat number in the building.

He began it: "Dear Mr David Cameron" and detailed where he had placed 40lb and 20lb bombs which he threatened to detonate two days later, if the money was not delivered to his garden by midnight.

His campaign against the two branches of Lloyds TSB began on 13 February. Two letters were sent to the branches followed by two further letters three days later addressed to the individual managers. The later ones said bombs had been planted in their gardens which would detonate when their children were playing. He demanded £50 million.

Mr. Heptonstall, for the Crown Prosecution Service said about six weeks before Chavda had been refused access to funds he had in the bank, which had angered him, but he later denied that was the reason he had targeted the bank.

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