Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008 18:19 UK

Hoax bomb suspect blames boredom

A 22-year-old man accused of leaving a fake bomb on a bus did it because he was bored, a court has been told.

Nicholas Roddis allegedly left the "device", which included wires and a clock, on a bus in Rotherham, while he was wearing a false beard.

Mr Roddis told Leeds Crown Court he had worn the disguise "for a laugh" and had not thought through the consequences.

The "bomb" was a bag of sugar from Tesco and a clock from eBay. He denies various terrorism-related charges.

Mr Roddis, of Reedham Drive, Rotherham, said he had made a similar device before when he had been at school.

'Practical joke'

"It was just a practical joke. I was bored, I'd lost my job and had nothing to do," he told the court.

"I never really thought of the consequences of it," he added.

He told the court that passengers and even the driver of the bus had laughed at his disguise.

But the bus was evacuated after Mr Roddis left the "bomb" on the bus and a passenger opened it.

It included a note written in crude Arabic.

It said: "There is no God but Allah. Mohammed is the messenger of Allah. Allah the Greatest. Allah the Greatest. Allah the Greatest. Britain must be punished."

It was signed "The [al-Qaeda] organisation in Iraq".

Library computer

Mr Roddis told the court he had used a translating tool on the internet.

"I was on the internet in the library eight hours a day and I was bored," he added.

Paul Watson QC, defending, asked him: "Was it your intention at that time, either then or at a some future time, to do something to cause somebody serious harm or cause serious damage?"

Mr Roddis replied: "No. Not at all."

Mr Roddis denies one charge of placing a hoax bomb on a bus, one of engaging in the preparation of acts of terrorism, six counts of possessing an article for terrorism purposes and three of collecting information useful for terrorist purposes.

The case was adjourned until Monday.




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