Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Woman spared jail over Woodseats Primary School bomb hoax

Sheffield Magistrates' Court Image copyright Chris Downer/Geograph
Image caption Christine Pitter was sentenced at Sheffield Magistrates' Court

A woman who made a hoax bomb threat against a primary school she owed money to has been given a six month suspended jail sentence.

Christine Pitter, 52, made two phone calls claiming there was a bomb in the reception area of Woodseats Primary School, in Sheffield, in July 2016.

Sheffield Magistrates' Court heard the school and two neighbouring shops were evacuated as a result of the threat.

Pitter, of Brunswick Road, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to the offence.

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Prosecutor David Marshall said the threats were made during phone calls to two shops near to the school in Chesterfield Road.

He said: "The result was that not only the school but the Farmfoods and The Original Factory Shop were all evacuated and people moved from the area.

"Police used sniffer dogs to search the area for any suspicious devices."

Reading a statement from the school's business manager, he said the evacuation, which took place on the last day of term, had caused "genuine concern and panic".

The head teacher said in a statement that children at the school were "upset, terrified and crying".

'Most stupid thing'

Defending Pitter, Pari Seeley said to describe her actions as foolish was "an understatement".

She said: "From what I can gather it seems the money had been owed for some time and it seems to have built up in to something more than it was and she did the most stupid thing she could possibly do."

District Judge Paul Healey said: "It must have been frightening to receive that call to say there was a bomb in the school."

However, as a result of factors including her age, good character and the time since the offence he said he would suspend her sentence for 18 months.

Pitter was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay a fine of £200.

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