Man jailed for sending anthrax hoax to Prime Minister

|News, Terrorism

A man who sent a letter to the Prime Minister saying that it contained anthrax has been jailed for 18 months today at the Old Bailey.

Vincent Potter, 60, from Royal Tunbridge Wells addressed the letter to 10 Downing Street but it was intercepted by specialist postal workers wearing protective clothing. No anthrax or any dangerous substances were found enclosed with the letter.

Lee Ingham from the CPS said: “Vincent Potter sent a malicious and distressing hoax letter claiming it contained deadly anthrax. Even though it did not - his intention was to create fear and distress.

“The evidence against Potter was so strong that he pleaded guilty and the sentence reflects the seriousness of his offence.”

The letter was traced back to him because he posted it locally and through DNA on the back of the stamp.

It was intercepted on 23 August last year and the specialist postal worker had to wear an overall and a face mask before opening it. They called the police.

Potter was charged with sending a hoax involving a noxious substance and pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

Notes to editors

  • Vincent Potter (DOB 02/05/1958) pleaded guilty to one count of communicating a hoax involving a noxious substance, contrary to s114(2) to the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.
  • Potter pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey on 5 October and was sentenced on 2 November.
  • Lee Ingham is a specialist prosecutor in the Crown Prosecution Service.

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