Woman sent frightening bomb hoax message to care home after mum died

The court heard the defendant Linda Goodswin's mental health had been in a 'downward spiral' Picture

The court heard the defendant Linda Goodswin's mental health had been in a 'downward spiral' Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A 52-year-old woman who sent a bomb hoax letter claiming there were bombs in care homes in Sudbury has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Sentencing Linda Goodswin, Judge David Goodin described what she did as “ugly and bullying” and said she had set out to frighten people.

Goodswin, of Drake Road, Sudbury, admitted two bomb hoax offences, sending a letter with intent to cause alarm or anxiety and possessing a kitchen knife in Market Hill, Sudbury.

She was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years and a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

She was also given a five year restraining order banning her from going to William Wood House care home in Sudbury or contacting staff.

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Matthew Morgan, prosecuting, said a bomb hoax letter was sent to William Wood House on February 5 last year claiming bombs had been left in care homes in Sudbury and had a piece of paper attached to it saying: “This is no joke.”

Suffolk Constabulary had also received a bomb hoax letter the following day.

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On February 13 last year police were called after Goodswin went into McColl’s store on Market Hill, Sudbury, and smashed some eggs on the floor before approaching a cashier with a kitchen knife and demanding money.

When the cashier said she couldn’t open the till Goodswin said “I’m not joking”, but had then given up and walked out of the store, said Mr Morgan.

She later told police she’d been hearing voices telling her to do bad things.

Mr Morgan said Goodswin seemed to think William Wood House had contributed to the death of her mother Olive who had died in hospital from a bleed on her brain.

However, Mr Morgan said this was denied by the care home who claimed she had been properly looked after.

Lynne Shirley, for Goodswin, said her client’s mental health had been in a “downward spiral” at the time of the offences.

She said Goodswin had spent time in a mental health facility and had spent three months in custody for the offences before the court before being released on bail in June.

Miss Shirley said Goodswin had not committed any further offences in the interim.

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