Bomb hoax caller’s jail sentence

Crime story
Crime story

A WIGAN man who sparked a terror alert in the town centre has been handed a custodial sentence.

William Nicolson received an 11 month jail term last week for phoning in the false threat which had police officers searching through bins to find a bomb.

He received 10 months for the initial offence, which took place in September, and an added month for a breach of a condition of his bail.

The 44-year-old is already in prison having pleaded guilty to two assault charges at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court on the day he was due to be sentenced at Liverpool Crown for the bomb hoax call.

The bench sent out an arrest warrant for his apparent non-appearance unaware he was already in police custody for the separate offences.

Nicolson, of Harrow Road, Marsh Green, received a 12 week sentence for the assaults.

He had pleaded guilty to the bomb hoax at Wigan Magistrate last month.

The court had heard he had spent “most of the day drinking” on September 30.

Karen Schofield, defending, told the court Nicolson had a drink problem which had been exacerbated by the recent death of his brother.

Ms Schofield said: “Obviously it is a concern that the offence is committed while intoxicated.

“He had been talking with another male while he was drinking about the war and it must have been on his mind.”

When he made the call, Nicolson was wearing a T-shirt with the logo “If your God approves of suicide bombers, then my God thinks your God is a ****.”

Carl Gaffney, prosecuting, told the court he did not need to outline the implications of the “distress and panic” the hoax call could have caused to the general public and the emergency services if it had not been as resolved as swiftly as it was.

He said: “That he had been drinking is not a mitigating factor, it is a contributory factor.”

Ms Schofield added her client was remorseful and accepted that he had made the call even though he could recall it word for word.