Peterborough man set up bomb hoax ‘to teach resident who wound him up a lesson’

Peterborough Magistrates' Court

Peterborough Magistrates' Court

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A Peterborough man who told police he had planted a bomb in a room to ‘teach someone a lesson’ is facing a jail term.

Thomas Batcoe (29) of Wesleyan Road in Dogsthorpe, appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court today, where he was told residents living near the bomb scare would have been frightened following terrorist attacks elsewhere in the world after he told officers a device had been planted at the bail hostel he was staying at.

Giles Beaumont, prosecuting, told the court: “The incident happened on March 30 at the bail hostel on Wesleyan Road.

“The defendant contacted police saying there was a bomb in one of the rooms.

“Officers attended, and he confirmed there was a bomb in the room of a fellow resident.

“Police evacuated the area while a search was carried out.

“Mr Batcoe was arrested when nothing was found.

“He told police the other man had wound him up, and he was trying to teach him a lesson.”

A police spokesman said: “We were called at about 10.30pm on Wednesday (March 30) to reports of a suspicious device in Wesleyan Road, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough.

“Officers attended the scene and the area was evacuated. After conducting a thorough search no device was found.”

Mr Beaumont said Batcoe had received prison sentences in the past for similar offences.

Tim Needham, defending, admitted the case was too serious to be heard at the Magistrates’ Court, and agreed it should be sent to Peterborough Crown Court for sentencing.

District Judge Ken Sheraton said: “With the current climate of high alert against terrorist attacks, and the fear this call would have resulted in, the fact emergency services would have been diverted from other incidents and your long history of similar incident, I consider my sentencing powers are far from sufficient.”

Batcoe, who pleaded guilty to communicating false information, specifically a bomb hoax, was remanded into custody until a sentencing hearing at Peterborough Crown Court.