Dover Hoaxer Jailed

A hoaxer who sparked a bomb alert by falsely claiming he was carrying explosives just before he was about to board a cross-Channel ferry has been jailed.

Carwyn Rees, 45, told a border official at the Port of Dover in Kent that he had a bomb in his bag after arriving there on a coach bound for Amsterdam.

He repeated his claim twice and was warned about the seriousness of his allegation at the port's Eastern Docks just after 10pm on September 22.

Rees, a cleaner, had his rucksack searched and officials also conducted a sweep of the coach he was travelling on but no explosives were found.

After a lengthy delay, the coach was allowed to continue on its journey across the Channel, but Rees was arrested on suspicion of making a bomb hoax.

Rees, of Richmond Road, Roath, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to the charge at Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Magistrates' Court and was jailed for six months today, Kent Police said."This was a very serious crime that had the potential to cause great alarm and distress to many people.

"By the time the offender admitted he was 'messing around' the damage had been done.

"We took action to ensure the safety of passengers and staff at the docks and the subsequent searches meant a long delay for those who were continuing their journey.

"We live with the threat of terrorism every day in this country so when someone claims to have a bomb it is not a trivial matter.

"The penalty given to Rees should act as a warning to others that bomb hoaxes are not merely pranks.

"The offender now has a criminal record which will have major repercussions in relation to getting or maintaining a job, getting a visa should he wish to travel to certain countries in the future, and maybe even on his personal relationships.''