Man jailed for Shoreham police station bomb hoax

A man has been jailed after making a bomb hoax at Shoreham police station.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 6:10 pm

Police said Peter Osbourne, 60, called the station at 7.32am on Friday, June 18, the morning after the Manchester Arena bombing inquest published its first report.

The 999 call was traced back to a public phone box in Shoreham High Street, and officers were deployed to the scene.

Meanwhile, all staff and officers at Shoreham Police Station were alerted to the incident and advised not to open any mail, police said.

Peter Osbourne. Picture: Sussex Police SUS-210628-180127001
Peter Osbourne. Picture: Sussex Police SUS-210628-180127001

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “The two-minute phone call led to the deployment of officers from divisional response and operations departments to protect the public, with CCTV operators and officers from the Force Intelligence Unit involved in both tracing the suspect and establishing the feasibility of the threat, and both South East Coast Ambulance Service and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service put on standby.

“The suspect was located and arrested within 30 minutes of making the call, and emergency services were stood down 15 minutes later after the Divisional Response Inspector and Critical Incident Manager confirmed the threat was a hoax.”

Peter Osbourne, 60, unemployed and of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with making a bomb hoax, and was remanded in custody, police said.

He pleaded guilty to the offence at Brighton Magistrates’ Court the following day (June 19), where he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay a £128 victim surcharge, police confirmed today (Monday, June 28).

Detective Constable Noel Simmonds said: “This bomb hoax was made the morning after Sir John Saunders published his first report on the Manchester Arena bombing, a sad reminder of why emergency services have to take such threats seriously.

“Whilst this incident turned out to be a hoax it was only the swift and thorough investigation that prevented serious disruption to the community.

“I would like to thank all of the emergency services involved in this incident, and Brighton and Hove Magistrates for demonstrating that the courts will deal robustly with this kind of behaviour.”