Man jailed for Tesco store bomb hoax call in Great Yarmouth

Stewart Nightingale Image copyright Norfolk Police
Image caption Stewart Nightingale, 43, made the hoax call and demanded money

A man has been jailed for five years after he admitted making a hoax bomb call to a Tesco store and blackmail.

The Pasteur Road store in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, was evacuated on 6 March 2015 after a suspicious package was found.

Stewart Nightingale, 43, of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, admitted making the hoax call and a charge of blackmail.

Norwich Crown Court was told he rang claiming a bomb was in a shopping trolley and demanding money.

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Image copyright Norfolk Police
Image caption The suspicious package was found in a trolley after a phone call was made to the Tesco store

Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal officers were deployed to the scene and safely disposed of the item.

An investigation was launched, including the release of CCTV images and audio of the phone call which led to Nightingale's arrest on 27 April 2015.

Det Con Kevin Maskell, of Norfolk Police, welcomed the sentence saying that hoax threats diverted resources from genuine emergencies.

He said: "It's astonishing to think the irresponsibility of someone who would make a hoax threat about a bomb in a popular, busy supermarket.

Image copyright Richard Driscoll
Image caption A bomb disposal team was called to the Tesco Extra store

"As with any report to the police, our priority is the safety of the public and we have to treat these incidents very seriously from the outset, as we did in this case."

He said hoax bomb threats "are not victimless crimes; they can create fear and disruption to the community".

Image copyright Sharon Parkes

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