Bomb hoaxer faces community punishment

A DRUNKEN bomb hoaxer who shocked race-goers in a packed champagne bar just days after scores lost their lives in the attacks on London has been ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid community work.

A DRUNKEN bomb hoaxer who shocked race-goers in a packed champagne bar just days after scores lost their lives in the attacks on London has been ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid community work.

Gary Eels shouted “I'm a bomber” at the July Racecourse during a popular Newmarket Nights concert just one day after the failed bombings and 15 days after 52 people were killed in the capital, magistrates sitting in Ely heard on Thursday.

The 39-year-old was also handed a six-month curfew order preventing him from leaving home between 8pm and 5am, told he must wear an electronic tag and ordered to pay £297 costs towards the case.

Sentencing Eels, Janet South, chairman of the bench, told him: “The incident took place in the same month that the whole nation was on high alert because of suicide bomb incidents that had place in public places in London, one the previous day.


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“On July 22 there was 19,000 people at Newmarket race course, some of them had already experienced the evacuation of a bomb scare within the vicinity of the champagne bar.

“Had the police not acted as quickly to deal with the disturbance you caused by your threatening and inappropriate remarks, the consequences could have been far greater.”

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Eels, of Tilney Croft, Harlow, had previously denied creating a bomb hoax during the Jools Holland performance, but had admitted being drunk and disorderly at the racecourse on July 22. He was convicted at a trial earlier this autumn.

Prosecuting, John Nooijen said Eels had staggered into people, then raised his arms and shouted: “I'm a bomber, I'm a bomber.” Racegoers in the area looked extremely shocked and concerned.

“The consequences of his actions could have turned this into a major incident with the possible evacuation of 19,000 people,” said Mr Nooijen. “It could have led to thousands of people fleeing.”

Andrew Clowser, mitigating, told magistrates: “You can be satisfied from the evidence that the police did not really believe there was a bomb or explosive device.

“The police appear to be satisfied they were dealing with an annoying drunk who had made a distasteful comment that caused disgust and annoyance, but not panic.”

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