Berkshire

Reading Oracle bomb scare: Man in court on hoax charge

Oracle
Image caption The Oracle shopping centre was closed all day

A man has appeared in court charged with causing a bomb hoax which led to the closure of a shopping centre.

Sergio Costa, 46, is accused of placing a fake improvised explosive device in Reading's Oracle centre.

Army bomb control teams investigated on 12 June and an item was later declared "not viable" by police.

The Portuguese national, who lives in the town, did not enter a plea at Reading Magistrates' Court.

The mall was evacuated and its car parks and surrounding roads were closed for more than eight hours.

Costa was released on bail and will appear at Reading Crown Court on 4 September for a preliminary trial hearing.

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