Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 17:37 UK

Tube suicide bomb hoax man jailed

George McFaul
George McFaul said he was 'very drunk' at the time

A civil servant who told fellow Tube passengers he was a Muslim suicide bomber during a drunken tirade has been jailed for 12 months.

George McFaul, a Ministry of Justice official, said to commuters they had one minute to live before his rucksack exploded, Southwark Crown Court heard.

But when the train arrived at King's Cross station staff found he was drunk.

McFaul, 43, from Walthamstow, east London, pleaded guilty to communicating false information in December 2007.

After the Northern Line train pulled into King's Cross station, McFaul was immediately surrounded by staff who took one look at the state he was in and decided there was no danger.

One of them then searched his rucksack, finding nothing more threatening than a paperback and a mobile phone, the court was told.

It was a joke that got out of hand
George McFaul

Station supervisor Michael McKenna later told police that the passengers, who were still on the platform, were "angry and I had to keep them apart from him".

Shortly after he was arrested he told one of the officers: "I was very drunk and I made that silly comment.

"It was a joke that got out of hand."

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: "This was completely out of character for you and it has completely ruined your life."

The court heard that McFaul not only lost the job he loved and would never get a similar one, but faced having to sell his house because he could no longer keep up the mortgage.

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