Ipswich: Man charged under Terrorism Act after bomb scare

IPSWICH: A 62-year-old man was today facing a charge under the Terrorism Act in relation to the bomb scare which gripped the town centre for three hours yesterday.

James Mullan, of Main Road, Kesgrave, is accused of failing to comply with the cordon which had been thrown up around the Town Hall while officers probed two suspect packages.

The charge comes under section 36 (2) of the Terrorism Act 2000.

He is on bail to appear at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on December 1 for the first hearing in his case.

The bomb scare was triggered when a man abandoned a rucksack and holdall in the Customer Services Centre in the Town Hall yesterday afternoon.

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Around 150 people were evacuated from the Town Hall and surrounding buildings, including Barclays bank.

The initial cordon was later extended as police officers evacuated market traders from their stalls.

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Bomb disposal experts with the army’s bomb squad were alerted by police officers at the scene.

Those working in the Town Hall were told not to return but to go home, while market traders faced a wait before police would allow them to bring their vehicles back onto the Corn Hill to dismantle their stalls.

Shortly before 5.30pm, the cordon was lifted after police officers discovered the bags posed no threat.

A Suffolk police spokesman said an investigation is today under way to trace the man who left the bags, found to contain clothing, in the building.

Speaking in the midst of the drama, market trader Gary Cox, of Coxy’s Fruit and Veg, said he first realised something was happening when a strong police presence appeared on the Corn Hill.

He said: “I just heard someone say a man walked into the building and dropped a bag. We were told to pack up pretty soon afterwards.”

Anyone who has any information relating to the incident should contact police on 01473 613500.

n Were you caught up in the drama? Call Newsdesk on 01473 324788 or you can e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

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