Lincolnshire man escapes immediate jail sentence after making hoax bomb threat to Camden Market

A Lincolnshire man who made a hoax call claiming there was a bomb at Camden Market has been given a Criminal Behaviour Order which bans him from ringing 999 unless it is an emergency.

Lincoln Crown Court
Lincoln Crown Court

Police treated the call from Steven Diver, 55, as serious because it was made the day after the Parsons Green underground attack in September last year, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Diver, from Morton, near Bourne, had made the call to the police 101 number and told the operator: "A bomb, a bomb, Camden Town."

He then added: "Alert, alert, alert, red, red, red," and ended the call by stating "It would be 12 o'clock or 9 o'clock."

Special Branch and the Metropolitan Police were informed about the call as it was made the day after the Parsons Green underground attack on 15 September when the UK security state had been upgraded to critical.

Officers were sent to Diver's home in Lincolnshire where he was found to have been drinking whiskey.

Diver had served a prison sentence in 2015 for making a similar hoax bomb communication and made 22 contacts to the police of a "similar nature" following the Camden Town call, the court was told.

The court heard local police regarded Diver as a "nuisance caller" when he was drunk but hoped he could be helped by an alcohol treatment order.

In mitigation the court heard Diver was working hard to keep off drink and was holding down a job as a truck driver.

Diver, of Rosehip Road, Morton, Bourne, admitted a charge of making a false communication on 16 September, 2017.

He was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment suspended for two years, a 12 month alcohol treatment order and must complete 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Diver was also made the subject of a three year Criminal Behaviour Order which bans him from ringing the police 101 number or making any 999 calls unless it is a genuine emergency.

Passing sentence Judge John Pini QC told Diver he had wasted police time by making this hoax bomb call.

Judge Pini said: "It diverted their time and their efforts away from genuine emergencies, that is what is serious about this."

The judge warned Diver it his "last chance" to avoid another jail sentence.