Gurpal Singh Made Hoax Call Claiming He Was A Terrorist With A Bomb From Ladbrokes

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Gurpal Singh Sahoto, 42, from Derby called 999 from a phone box to falsely claim he was a terrorist and that he had a bomb.

Gurpal Singh told the 999 operative “Terrorists, we are all terrorists, bomb, bomb.”

The court was told this call took place a short while after he told Derbyshire police he had been assaulted.

Outlining the case, District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said to Sahoto: “On October 8, for reasons that are not totally clear to me, you contacted the police from Ladbrokes [in Normanton Road, Normanton]to say you had been assaulted.

“They responded by going to Ladbrokes but you weren’t there.

In your drunken stupor you felt it appropriate to ring them from a phone box and utter the words ‘terrorists, we are all terrorists, bomb, bomb’.”

Gurpal Singh was then traced to Pear Tree Road where he was arrested. After being arrested and charged he pleaded guilty to one count of malicious communication in relation to the bomb hoax.

Now, after telling a probation officer he carried out the act because “he lost it”, he has narrowly escaped an immediate prison term.

The district judge said: “In today’s climate, what you said has to be taken extremely seriously because we live in a time where terrorism and the threat of bombs is a real problem in towns and cities.

“Officers had to be deployed. They were able to quickly conclude these were the rantings of a drunken idiot rather than anything more serious.”

He added: “People have to be aware that in a drunken rage if any false phone calls are made to the emergency services against this type of background they run the risk of going into immediate custody.

“The law enforcement agencies are stretched enough without having to deal with the rantings of a drunken idiot.”

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard how Sahoto made the call from a phone box in Pear Tree Road after initially calling police to make the assault claim from his own mobile phone while he was in the Ladbrokes bookmakers.

David Cusack, for Sahoto, said his client “fully accepted what he did was a serious matter”.

He said: “It was a moment of idiocy by this defendant when he was aggrieved about what he thought was a lack of response [from the police].

“He apologises to the court and in the cold light of day, when I asked him what he was thinking, he said he said when he committed this offence he didn’t think.

“He didn’t realise at the time how seriously it would be taken.” Judge Taaffe handed Sahoto a 26-week jail sentence, suspended for a year and ordered that he pay £85 prosecution costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

He will also be supervised for 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days by the probation service.

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