South Scotland

David Williamson from Jedburgh loses 'bomb hoax' appeal

Royal Courts of Justice

A convicted armed raider and bomb hoaxer has failed to convince judges he was not the nuisance caller.

David Williamson, from Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, was told at London's Appeal Court that his total 10-year sentence was, if anything, 'generous'.

At Kingston Crown Court in London last year, he was convicted of the string of terror calls and shop raids.

The 51-year-old challenged his conviction and sentence in relation to the bomb hoaxes.

He embarked on the crime spree in October 2012, targeting shops in Maidstone, Kent, central London, and in Warrington, Cheshire.

In one raid, he produced an imitation gun and demanded cash from a lone receptionist at the Delmere Hotel, in London's Hyde Park.

Two days later he struck at a bureau de change in Warrington.

Hoax calls

He told staff he wished to buy £15,000 worth of euros, but waved his pistol at them when they challenged him, before fleeing with £4,000 in cash on a bus.

It later emerged that Williamson had made a series of hoax phone calls to police before the robberies, claiming there were bombs planted across London and the rail network.

He had also left a note in the Harrods department store, inside an envelope, claiming that a bomb was about to go off.

Williamson received an eight-year term for the robberies and another two years for five counts of "communicating false information with intent".

Judge Simon Tonking, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Gilbart, said a man "resembling" Williamson had been seen entering Harrods.

The same man had also been spotted in a phone box from which one of the hoax calls was made.

Williamson was also linked to the hoaxes by mobile phone and fingerprint evidence.

'Entirely appropriate'

In addition, a voice expert had listened to recordings of the hoax caller, concluding that he shared Williamson's "central Scottish" accent.

"Mr Williamson originally hails from Dundee," explained the appeal judge.

Rejecting his conviction challenge, Judge Tonking said the evidence against him was "compelling" and there was "no reason to doubt the safety of these convictions".

Nor was his sentence "excessive or wrong in principle", the judge told the court, concluding: "The sentence was entirely appropriate, if not generous".

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