Maidstone Morrisons bomb hoax blackmail: David Williams jailed
A 48-year-old man who planted a fake bomb at a supermarket in Kent and then demanded £10,000 has been jailed after being found guilty of blackmail.
David Williams, previously of Knaves Acre, Headcorn, called Morrisons in Maidstone last December saying several devices had been left in the store.
The store was evacuated and a controlled explosion carried out on a suspicious package found in an aisle.
Maidstone Crown Court jailed Williams for two years and eight months.
Kent Police said three calls were made to the store on 10 December, which were traced to telephone kiosks in Maidstone town centre.
Williams had also asked for £10,000 to be taken to Headcorn railway station, and said if no-one believed him, then aisle 23 of the store should be checked.
Officers said staff then found a cardboard box containing a plastic box with a flashing light attached.
The store and its adjacent petrol station were evacuated and the army's explosive ordnance disposal team was called.
Speaking after the sentencing, Det Insp Lee Whitehead said the incident had caused "a lot of unnecessary concern for innocent people, financial loss to the business involved and took up a significant amount of police resources".