Chef jailed over bomb hoax call

A chef who made a hoax phone call claiming his estranged wife was about to board a transatlantic flight with a bomb was jailed for 12 months today.

Kevin Flynn, 31, told police that the device was being taken on a New York-bound aircraft by Kerensa Flynn at either Heathrow or Gatwick airport.

He made the anonymous call from a phone box in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, on July 31 after the couple had decided to end their relationship and she was to fly home to the United States.

Prosecutor Ed Hand told Chichester Crown Court: "His motivation was to get her stopped and humiliated."

He said the pair had been having problems in their four-year marriage for some time and they had decided to go their separate ways.

Flynn had agreed to give her some time alone to pack her things, but when he returned home found that she had damaged some of his belongings including clothing and photos, the court heard.

He called police with the allegations from their home, before making the hoax 999 call from a phone box some hours later.

A transcript of the brief call was read out in which he told the operator: "I'm only going to say this once, it's an anonymous call.

"There's a Kerensa Flynn or Kerensa Romara-MacMahan currently boarding at Heathrow or Gatwick with a bomb in her bag."

The court heard that police quickly made the connection with Flynn's earlier call about his wife from his home and officers were dispatched to his address in Bognor.

At first he denied making the call but on further questioning admitted he had and that it was a hoax.

Meanwhile officers from Sussex Police and the Met Police were sent to Gatwick and Heathrow airports where Ms Flynn was intercepted, with no disruption being caused to other passengers at either site.

Mr Hand said that during questioning Flynn told officers about their relationship breakdown.

"Things had come to a head after a period of trouble between the two.

"He said his anger was raised. He had visions of her laughing at him as she was on her plane."

During mitigation, Gareth Morgan, for the defence, said that Flynn's marriage woes had led to problems with alcohol and he had also been badly affected by witnessing the death of his best friend's father in the months leading up to the incident.

The court heard he had nine previous convictions for a range of offences including theft and burglary.

Judge William Wood QC said he gave Flynn credit for having pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity.

He went on: "I take the view that this kind of behaviour in which police resources may have to be wasted to prevent any threat coming to fruition and when there is a chance of large-scale disruption or evacuation of buildings or aeroplanes and airports, this class of misconduct is so serious there is no possibility to do anything but impose an immediate custodial sentence."

Wearing a short-sleeved checked shirt, Flynn, of Ashburnham Close, Durrington, looked shocked as the one-year sentence was passed.