Fife shopping centre bomb hoaxer avoids jail sentence

 

A Fife man, who claimed there was a bomb in a busy shopping centre, has avoided a jail sentence.

Fake cop Dylan Sinclair (21) was later caught by real officers and claimed he was bored and thought it would be a “laugh” to make the calls.

Sinclair’s actions were described as “incredibly stupid” by his own solicitor.

A bogus call from ‘Sergeant Anderson’ was made to security staff at the Kingdom Centre, Glenrothes, saying he thought there may be a bomb there.

He also made phone calls to random elderly women. He told a 75-year-old at 1.15am that people were trying to get into her home.

Another woman, who was 83 at the time, was also called in the early hours of the morning by the time-waster.

A sheriff did not see the funny side of Sinclair’s pranks and told him he had come close to landing himself in jail.

Sinclair, of Gallagher Avenue, Leven, appeared for sentencing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He previously admitted that on 2nd March he impersonated a police officer in a phone call to a 75-year-old woman, claiming he was a PC Anderson and stated that persons were at her home trying to open her door.

On the same day, he also impersonated a police officer in a phone call to an 83-year-old woman claiming he was a Sergeant Anderson and advised her not to go outside because of a red weather warning.

On 7th March, he made a phone call to Kingdom Centre, Glenrothes, with the intention of making people to believe there was a bomb there.

Depute fiscal Azrah Yousaf said Sinclair called security staff claiming he was a police sergeant and that a suspect with a long coat was being followed in the centre.

“The caller said this man was carrying a red suitcase and they thought it was a bomb,” added the depute.

Security staff looked at CCTV and carried out checks of bins and exits. All available police officers in the area were called to the scene with a view to evacuation.

However, after more checks were carried out it was noted there had a previous hoax call from a ‘Sergeant Anderson’.

The calls were traced to Sinclair’s phone as he had made a call to the police about an unrelated matter in 2017.

“He said he was bored and made prank calls for a laugh,” added Ms Yousaf.

Defence solicitor David McLaughlin said, “These offences were incredibly stupid. He didn’t realise how serious these matters were at the time but he does now.”

The court was told Sinclair is already on a community payback order.

Sheriff Charles MacNair imposed a community payback order with three years’ supervision and 200 hours of unpaid work. Sinclair was also placed on an eight-month restriction of liberty order.

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