A man with a record for making bomb hoax calls has been jailed for claiming a Real IRA bomb had been planted in Solihull.
David Sherlock, of Hagley Road, Edgbaston, telephoned police saying a bomb had been planted by the terrorist group near housing offices in Chelmsley Wood last April.
The 46-year-old was traced after a police operator dialled the phone box number he had been calling from and asked a passer by to give a description of the person who had just left.
Sherlock admitted communicating false information to an emergency services operator at Warwick Crown Court yesterday.
Sherlock, who had previous convictions for bomb hoaxes and was subject to a suspended sentence at the time for making nuisance calls, was jailed for ten months.
Prosecutor Nigel Wilkins said that on April 2, Sherlock made a 999 call from a phone kiosk in Chelmsley Wood.
He told the emergency operator: “This is the Real IRA. Bomb scare near the housing offices in Chelmsley Wood. It’s in a van. I can’t say too much. I’ve been told by the IRA.”
Police rushed to the area, but were not able to find Sherlock until a CCTV operator who had been given his description picked him up and followed him by camera to a block of flats where he was arrested. Sherlock made a frank admission and admitted there was no bomb, saying his call was a cry for help.
Mr Wilkins pointed out that as a result of the call eight officers had to spend two hours searching the area to make sure there was no evidence of a bomb.
Judge Charles Harris QC commented that Sherlock “has done this ten times before”.