Southampton man sentenced for making bomb hoax

24/01/2013

Timothy Bingham, 44, from Southampton was sentenced today at Winchester Crown Court to 15 months' imprisonment suspended for 24 months for making a bomb hoax on 12 August 2013.

Fiona Rutherford, Head of the Crown Advocacy Unit for CPS Wessex said: "Making a bomb hoax is not a prank but a serious criminal offence, which can have serious repercussions on the Community as well as waste precious police time. Timothy Bingham, 44, from Southampton, called Hampshire Constabulary on 12 August 2012 at about 01:00am and claimed that two mosques in Saint Mary's and Groves Road in Southampton were about to be blown up.

"He then went on to say to the operator that it was "the end of the Olympics and people were pissed off with them." He added that he knew where the bombs were placed and requested £100 and then £50 for the information.

"Not long after the conversation ended, the police attended his house and asked him questions in relation to his disclosure about a bomb. One of Bingham's first responses was: "I report a theft of my bike and it takes the police an hour to attend, when I report a bomb they turn up straight away." Bingham was then arrested on suspicion of making a bomb hoax. In the meantime the police carried out discrete investigations in and around the two mosques in Southampton, which fortunately confirmed that there were no explosive devices.

"Thanks to Hampshire Constabulary, who acted quickly and discreetly Tim Bingham's reprehensible actions did not have any impact on the community and the potential for widespread alarm and distress was avoided. Her Honour Judge Miller said when passing sentence that considerable police time was wasted and she also remarked  that it would have been traumatic for the operator who took the call.

"This prosecution should serve as reminder that making a bomb hoax is serious criminal offence, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years."