Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Sudbury: Cleaner who threw ‘hoax bomb’ into manager’s office at Kingfisher Leisure Centre is jailed

12:00 23 January 2014

James Hasler

James Hasler

Archant

A cleaner who threw what appeared to be a smoking bomb at his boss has been jailed.

shares

James Hasler, 34, had shouted “I’ve had enough. I quit” before lighting a fuse on the device, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

The terrified manager who was the target of the prank at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Sudbury, John Scarff, needed six weeks of counselling to recover from the ordeal.

Hasler, of Woodhall Road, Sudbury, had returned to Mr Scarff’s office moments later to say that it had been meant as a joke. Hasler was immediately suspended from his job.

The whole incident had been caught on CCTV and the recording was shown to the court.

Judge John Devaux jailed Hasler for 14 months for placing a hoax homb. Hasler had also pleaded guilty to production and possession of cannabis.

Edward Renvoize, prosecuting, said Mr Scarff, who had experience of munitions from his RAF service, had been badly shocked when Hasler burst into his office on October 18 and threw what appeared to be dynamite.

Mr Scarff had managed to kick away the smouldering device, consisting of three red tubes taped together with a fuse, and it had gone out.

Police arrested Hasler early the following day at his home where a search uncovered chemicals used in the production of fireworks.

Also found were three cannabis plants and a small quantity of cannabis which the court heard Hasler had smoked on the daily basis for the past 13 years.

Hasler had told police: “The intention was a joke. I did not intend to cause any fear.”

Defending, Jonathan Seely said Hasler, who had expressed considerable remorse, had not been pursuing any form of vendetta or dispute against Mr Scarff.

Mr Seeley told the court: “Perhaps astoundingly at this time the defendant was in the process of applying for a pay rise and which Mr Scarff was helping him with.”

Hasler’s sense of humour was, at times, “monstrously bad” said Mr Seely.

Giving evidence about his son, Stephen Hasler said: “He does like playing jokes and perhaps doesn’t realise that some of them are not funny.”

Sentencing him, Judge Devaux told Hasler: “Happily the fact is these cases are unusual.”

Judge Devaux granted a restraining order banning Hasler from contacting Mr Scraff for the next three years.

Tracey Loynds, chief executive of South Suffolk Leisure which manages the Kingfisher centre on behalf of Babergh District Council, told the EADT: “The incident was managed quickly and efficiently by our team and by Suffolk Constabulary. We are now keen to put this event behind us and move on.”

shares

2 comments

  • This is absolutely ridiculous! It shouldn't even have got to court, let alone sending the poor guy to jail for 14 months.

    Report this comment

    Ex-IP17

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • I think 14 months is a little too long, but then he won't serve all of that. However, I do believe a custodial sentence is appropriate since the manager (or anyone else) might have seriously hurt themselves in trying to escape what they thought was a real bomb.

    Report this comment

    justmyopinion

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Ballots being counted at Suffolk Police Headquarters for PCC elections

Suffolk has re-elected incumbant Tory Tim Passmore to serve as the police and crime commissioner following yesterday’s poll.

A recount is taking place - stock photo

The UK Independece Party have snatched victory from the Tories in Haverhill following a Suffolk County Council by-election.

Essex Police & Crime Commissioner count 2016, Charter Hall, Colchester

The first round of voting has been concluded for the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, with the second round being a run-off between the Conservative and UKIP candidates.

The Copdock Interchange.

There are delays around the area of the Copdock Interchange following two incidents this afternoon.

Nationally, supply teachers have complained that their normal supply work has dried up because schools are taking the cheaper option of employing cover supervisors.

Suffolk’s schoolchildren face a growing risk of being taught by more unqualified teachers, education chiefs warned last night.

Roger the cat, who was shot and stamped on before being thrown into a field.

Police in Essex have released CCTV footage after a pet cat was shot and killed outside a property in Great Bentley.

The Colchester Borough Election count at Charter Hall. Greenstead - LAB HOLD Julie Young (L) 1,144 / Tim Young (L) 1,134 / Tina Bourne (L) 999

Labour proved the big winners as the Conservatives failed to capitalise on the first all-out elections in Colchester for decades.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24