A man who made a drunken hotel bomb threat is today behind bars.
Joseph Pearson made a 999 call at three in the morning to claim a pipe bomb had been planted at the Trades Hotel – and that it would be detonated by a signal from a mobile phone.
The 39-year-old also went on to make two further phone calls and claimed to have an association with the IRA.
Pearson, of Central Drive, Blackpool, had been committed by magistrates for sentencing at Preston Crown Court, having admitted an offence of communicating false information.
The offence dated back to June, the court was told.
Paul Cummings, prosecuting, said that in his call, the defendant had given the hotel address to the operator and said he was aware it was a hotel frequented by gay men.
He gave a codeword and claimed to have an association with the IRA.
The operator noted he had a Scottish accent.
Two subsequent calls were made by Pearson.
A police officer went near to the hotel to investigate. When he got there, he saw the defendant who said there was a bomb at the hotel.
He said people inside the hotel would be blown up.
Pearson had 64 previous offences on his record.
Rosalind Emsley-Smith, defending, said that only one police officer had been inconvenienced as a result of what her client did.
She added: “Now in sober mood, the defendant fully appreciates just how serious his actions could have been.
“He is at something of a loss to explain his actions on the night in question, save to say he had consumed a huge amount of alcohol.
“That night he had encountered various difficulties in the area where he was socialising and had been asked to leave certain gay establishments, probably as a result of his behaviour. He was angry and he was drunk”.
Judge Anthony Russell QC told Pearson: “Fortunately it isn’t a case where large numbers of people were put in fear as a result of your actions.
“No doubt, had it been persisted in, that may have been a possibility.
“I suspect your actions that night were caused because you had consumed a large amount of alcohol. The case is so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate. Anything involving a communication that a bomb is in premises calls for a sentence of imprisonment.”
Pearson was sentenced to six months’ prison.