Northern Ireland

Craigavon man Kieron Lavery jailed over 16 hoax bomb calls

Belfast Crown Court
Image caption The case was heard at Belfast Crown Court

A Craigavon man has been jailed after he admitted making 16 hoax bomb calls on seven separate occasions.

Keiron Lavery, 20, from Meadowbrook in the Tullygally area, made the calls between May 2013 and January this year.

He also admitted two counts of placing an article with intent to cause a bomb hoax in the Craigavon areas.

He was sentenced to 34 months, half of which will be served in prison and half on supervised licence upon his release.

Belfast Crown Court was told Lavery had asked to be moved from Hydebank Young Offenders Centre to the dissident republican wing of Maghaberry Prison after he was attacked in his cell by three inmates.

Passing sentence, a judge said the cost of policing Lavery's offending amounted to almost £30,000.

He said due to the threat posed to police officers by dissident republicans, he could not dismiss the hoax calls as "pranks", especially given Lavery's interests in dissident republican activity.

However, he told Lavery: "It is clear you are a suggestible person and you may not have had the ability to resist suggestions made to you by other more sinister elements."