Bomb hoaxer spared prison

First published in News

“THIS IS your last chance.”

That was the warning given to a serial bomb hoaxer who avoided jail despite repeatedly wasting police time by claiming he had planted devices around Southampton.

Johnathan Seifert, who has a history of pestering police with fake bomb calls, pleaded guilty to his latest hoax which saw officers sent to his home where he was threatening to blow up a friend within the hour.

It came just two months after the 23-year-old appeared in court for a similar call during which he told police that he had planted a bomb at Chandos House, in Orchard Lane.

Southampton Crown Court heard how Seifert’s latest call was made on November 3, telling officers that he had made the bomb using TNT and C4, which would explode at his flat in Old Redbridge Road, Southampton.

Having identified himself and with laughter being heard at his end of the line, police soon became aware that it was a potential hoax and kept him on the line for 12 minutes while four officers headed to his home to arrest him.

Prosecutor Gavin Sumpter told the court that when he was arrested Seifert was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and immediately admitted making the hoax call during interview.

‘Voices’ Mr Sumpter added: “He further said, when he was asked why he made the call, that ‘it was the voices in my head, voices saying ring the police’.”

The court heard that this incident was the fourth hoax bomb call he had made in recent years – for the previous one he was given a conditional discharge at Southampton Magistrates’ Court. This latest call saw him breach that order.

Defending Seifert, Mr Wheeler asked the judge to rule out a custodial sentence so that his client could receive mental health treatment to help him stop taking drugs and drinking alcohol, which contributed to his behaviour.

Recorder Maria Lamb gave Seifert a six-month sentence suspended for two years, with a twoyear supervision order that requires him to undergo mental health treatment.

He was given a four-month sentence suspended for two years, for breaching his previous order, to run concurrently.

She said: “This sort of behaviour cannot go on.

“All of that 15 minutes that the officer was on the line to you was 15 minutes when other people could have been ringing with the most terrible problems for which they needed help.

“They [the police] have a duty to come out whether or not there is some fool at the other end of the line laughing or not.

She added: “This is your last chance. Take it.”

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