Teenager caused bomb alert while posing as reporter

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The Independent Online
A TEENAGER who posed as a police officer, a journalist and a company director was yesterday sentenced to four months in custody for his latest deceptions.

James Purkiss, 19, repeatedly took on different identities to obtain a variety of goods, Reading Crown Court was told.

In the past, he had caused a major bomb alert when he posed as a reporter and claimed he had received a tip-off that there was a bomb in Reading, Berkshire.

Peter Nightingale, for the prosecution, said the defendant had admitted seven offences involving deception and fraud and wanted 24 further offences to be taken into consideration. He had posed as a company director to order eight radios by fax and as an ITN employee when he was caught trying to hack into the firm's computer.

In February this year, Purkiss was sentenced to two months custody for impersonating a police officer. In May he was sent to a young offenders' institute for six months for taking a car. On that occasion, when he was stopped, he claimed he was called Mike Wilkinson and worked for News International.

Purkiss will begin his four- month term at a young offender's institute when his previous term ends out later this month.