Tesco bomb blackmailer jailed

Tuesday 29 January 2008 01:00

A former tax inspector was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison for a string of bomb hoaxes against Britain's biggest supermarket chain.

Philip McHugh, 52, had pleaded guilty in November to sending 76 letters threatening to bomb branches of Tesco PLC last year.

Police said McHugh, who was deep in debt, had tried to extort hundreds of thousands of pounds (euros; dollars) from the company.

The letters prompted the closure of 14 stores around Britain in July.

McHugh had pleaded guilty at St. Albans Crown Court to three counts of blackmail and two of making hoax bomb threats. The same court, about 30 miles north of London, issued his sentence yesterday.