Leeds supermarket bomb hoaxer jailed

Scales.

Scales.

A man has been jailed for making a hoax call to police claiming that there was a bomb in a Leeds supermarket carpark.

Martin Geldard was given a six month sentence after he told a police operator that a bag containing an explosive device had been left outside the Morrisons store in Swinnow.

A court heard Geldard, 25, made the call “for a dare” when he was drunk.

Heather Gilmore, prosecuting, said Geldard made the call from his own mobile phone shortly before 1pm on the afternoon of Armistice Day - November 11 last year.

Geldard claimed wires were coming from the bag and then hung up without leaving further details.

Ms Gilmore said the call was initially graded at the highest level of emergency.

The store was immediately contacted and an officer quickly arrived at the scene.

The threat level was reduced after store staff confirmed they had not received a threat. Supermarket staff then helped the officer search the carpark but nothing was found.

Geldard was traced and admitted the offence when he was interviewed.

The prosecutor said: “He said he was dared to do it by a friend. He expressed remorse and said he should not have done it.”

Geldard, of Montreal Terrace, Swinnow, pleaded guilty to an offence of communicating false information.

He has previous convictions for robbery, theft and criminal damage.

Graham Parkin, mitigating, said emergency services realised within a short space of time that the threat was not real and the incident did not require bomb squad officers to attend the scene.

Mr Parkin said Geldard had now taken steps to control his drinking.

He added: “He can’t turn the clock back, I am sure he wishes he could.”

Judge Sally Cahill, QC, said: “Sadly you have to understand that those who make these calls, even as a result of a dare, have to realise the consequences it can have for the emergency services.

“I am satisfied that it is necessary for the protection of the public that there should be a realisation that there has to be a sentence of imprisonment to discourage other people.”