Fingerprint of Sudbury bank bomb hoax accused found on device

A police officer stands outside Barclays bank in Sudbury after a suspicious package was found Pictu

A police officer stands outside Barclays bank in Sudbury after a suspicious package was found Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A man accused of participating in a bomb hoax claims he knew nothing of the scare until seeing Sudbury town centre closed off.

Mark Brett’s fingerprint was found on a fake explosive device left at Barclays bank in Market Hill on Wednesday, January 31.

The 41-year-old acknowledged handling the batteries after finding them on a building site, but told police he discarded them a week before the scare sparked an evacuation and the response of an army bomb disposal unit.

Jurors at Ipswich Crown Court were played a phone call, made to authorities at 12.48pm, reporting a suspected bomb had been planted in the branch – at about the same time a bank customer informed staff of an unattended rucksack, found to contain four large batteries, taped together and connected by wires to give the appearance of an explosive.

The eight-second call was later found to have originated from Brett’s phone, but with a different SIM card, while forensics also matched his fingerprint to the device and his DNA to the bag.

After matching the prints, police attended Brett’s Tudor Road address, where a search found the top of a battery like those used to construct the device.

He was charged with placing an article, with others, to induce a belief it was likely to explode, and with communicating false information with the same intent.

Most Read

Prosecution and defence agree the bag was planted by someone else, as Brett was seen on CCTV at about the same time, accompanied by a third man, opposite the bank.

Brett told police he left home at 12.40pm to meet his mother in town – both returning in her car to have lunch before revisiting Sudbury to pick up a prescription after the streets were cordoned off.

He said the batteries were left in the area by builders a year earlier, and that he taped them together to create one large power source, but left them out for collection on a wheelie bin before the incident.

Prosecutor Richard Scott told jurors they must decide what role, if any, the defendant played.

Voice analysis could not conclusively prove the tip-off was made by Brett, who said a friend used his phone to make a call in a nearby alleyway at the time – a claim supported by CCTV footage.

Meanwhile, experts were uncertain that Brett’s DNA – found on the rucksack – had not been transferred by a third party from the batteries he acknowledged handling.

The trial continues.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter