Mansfield man thought bomb scare would ‘give police a laugh’

A Mansfield man with ADHD who phoned 999 and reported a bomb at the town’s police station told magistrates he thought it would ‘give police a laugh’.

Mansfield Magistrates’ Court was told how Joshua Williams (20), of Newark Close, had smoked an ounce of cannabis before making the prank call on 9th August.

Police arrested Williams after identifying him by tracking the call to his own mobile phone in a matter of minutes.

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Robert Carr, prosecuting, said Williams admitted the hoax during police interview, saying he had been dared to do it by friends during a walk to Tesco.

Said Mr Carr: “He did not think the police would believe it and it would give them a laugh.

“At the time he did not think it was an offence. He has no previous convictions apart from a caution for using the telephone network to cause annoyance.”

Simon King, defending, said: “While most people sitting in this courtroom would be fairly horrified at what happened Mr Williams does not have any idea it was an offence.

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“I think for various reasons he has simply just not thought this through or realised it is an incredibly stupid and serious thing to do.

“No-one who realised the seriousness of the offence would have committed it in such a crass manner as he has.”

Mr King said Williams’ previous caution for telecommunications misuse was a prank call to a friend, again using his own telephone.

“He lives in a one-bedroomed flat with his partner and they have a young son, said Mr King. “He has ADHD, which would have some impact on his decision-making process.

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“He was astonished that the offence carried a substantial custodial sentence.”

But a magistrate told Williams: “Given the current climate of terrorism, to make a call of this nature just beggars belief.

“And this bench does not accept you would think police would take this as a joke. “

Williams was bailed unconditionally to appear at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on 2nd September pending a probation report.

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