Sutton bomb hoax man sparked police stand-off and ended up drenched
A Sutton bomb hoaxer who threatened to blow himself up, sparking an emergency operation with armed police, ended up drenched and naked when he broke a water pipe, a court heard.
Residents were evacuated from their homes near Richard Moseby’s address on Sutton Road, Huthwaite, after he claimed to have two grenades and butane gas, on July 26, last year.
Police negotiators were brought in to deal with Moseby who wound a light cord around a water pipe and began counting down, said prosector Donna Fawcett.
“A couple of hours were taken to talk him down from the bathroom,” she said, adding that the entire operation involved the army, the gas board and other emergency services.
Pressure on the water pipes caused a leak, drenching Moseby, and he later emerged from the address naked because his clothes were wet, she added.
Moseby had rung 999 and claimed a wanted man had been shot or stabbed, at his address, saying there was “white stuff coming from the person’s mouth and he weren’t sure what to do about it.”
Officers were called to the incident at about 2.30pm to a report of an affray, and the police helicopter was also deployed.
He later told police he was intoxicated, after downing four litres of 7.5% cider, and had not been taken prescribed medication.
He denied taking illegal drugs, but tested positive for opiates.
“He said he panicked when he saw the police,” Mrs Fawcett said.
In total, four days, seven hours and 27 minutes of police man-hours were lost dealing with the incident, at an estimated cost of £2,559.
Debra Bell, mitigating, said she was concerned no psychiatric report had been made.
She said: “He clearly demonstrated some very bizarre behaviour. I am just hopeful the court will feel this is a case that’s odd, and that he has got lots and lots of issues.”
She said Moseby was on anti-psychotic medication, and was struggling with long-standing drink and drug addiction, as well as a “previous predilection for butane gas abuse”.
“Clearly his mental health is greatly diminished as a result,” she said.
She said Moseby failed to attend appointments with a psychiatrist because of his “generally chaotic lifestyle”.
The court heard he was on post-sentence supervision, but had only attended two probation appointments in more than five months.
Two days before the bomb scare, Moseby helped himself to a £24 crate of Fosters lager from the back of a van parked outside Costcutter, on Sutton Road, while the shopkeeper was unloading it.
He returned six hours later at 9.45pm, and punched the shopkeeper in the face and damaged his van, Mrs Fawcett told the court.
Ms Bell said Moseby stole the lager “on the spur of the moment”, and only retaliated after he was attacked, believing that the van was damaged during the altercation.
Moseby, 40, admitted wasting police time, two counts of failing to surrender and criminal damage, theft and common assault, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Wednesday.
District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “I have some sympathy for the difficulties you clearly suffer from and I accept you have a very chaotic lifestyle.
“I also accept in your own way you want help in relation to the problems you have.
“However, it’s clear to me that the probation service have bent over backwards in providing help and you have failed to cooperate at every turn.
“Your compliance record is appalling.
“Considerable police resources were diverted dealing with you when they could have, and perhaps should have, been dealing with others in urgent need.
“I make it very plain that were I able to give you a longer sentence than I am able, I would do so.”
He jailed Moseby for a total of 26 weeks, with seven days for failing to comply with probation to run concurrently. He also ordered him to pay a £115 government surcharge.