Hoax bomber sent to prison

A man who made a hoax bomb threat to a bingo hall has been sent to prison for 18 months.

Chris Hallam, aged 52, of Sowerby Close, Eltham SE9 was convicted at Woolwich Crown Court..

He had been found guilty by a jury after a three-day trial of committing the offence under Section 51 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

The court hear how on Thursday, 15 January 2015, a bingo hall on Eltham Hill, SE9 received a call stating that there was a bomb in the car park.

The male voice on the phone stated “This is a warning. There is a bomb in the car park. We are Islam”. The male then hung up.

Police were called and officers searched the car park and hall; no suspicious devices were found.

Although the bingo hall was not evacuated, the matter was deemed serious enough to call the emergency service to the scene, who had to conduct a thorough search.

Suspicion quickly fell on Hallam, who had been bombarding a member of the bingo hall staff with texts following a dispute.

Investigation of the phone networks showed that Hallam phoned the premises just before they contacted the police over the bomb hoax.

Checks on the phone number of the bingo hall showed that no one else phoned that number for over an hour preceding the phone call.

Hallam was arrested and admitted calling the hall, but denied making any threats.

He stated he was intoxicated through alcohol and on his own in his flat with his phone at the time he made the call.

Hallam was charged on 29 June 2015 with making the hoax call.

Detective Constable Chris Bryant of Greenwich CID, said: “This man’s actions caused alarm and resulted in the waste of police resources. Calls like this are no joke and anyone convicted of making hoax calls can face an entirely justified sentence of imprisonment.”

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