Fingerprint of Sudbury bank bomb hoax accused found on device
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.
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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.
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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.