Man Admits Tunbridge Wells Bomb Hoax

A 47-year-old man has pleaded guilty to causing a bomb hoax at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells last Wednesday (9 November).


Unemployed, Paul John William Starbuck of no fixed abode appeared at Sevenoaks Magistrates court on Friday 11 November charged with the offence of communicating false information, to which he pleaded guilty.

The court heard how while intoxicated, Starbuck had called police claiming there was a bomb at the Assembly Hall theatre, while a ‘Shakin’ Stevens’ concert was on. The caller said he had planted the bomb in the third tier of seating because he didn’t like the artist Shakin’ Stevens.

Police had to evacuate the hall during the interval, whilst teams scoured the venue and seating for any potential devices. None were found and the concertgoers were allowed back into the auditorium to listen to the remainder of the concert.

Following this, police tracked the phone used to make the hoax call, which they traced back to an address in Tunbridge Wells. Officers attended the address arresting Starbuck on suspicion of causing a bomb hoax.

Sevenoaks magistrates decided the offence was so serious that the case had to be passed to Maidstone Crown Court for sentence. Starbuck was remanded following the hearing until sentencing, a date for which is yet to be set.

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