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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 August 2005, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
'Revenge' bomb hoaxer is jailed
A man who planted a hoax bomb to "strike fear into the hearts of the Asian community" was jailed for two-and-a-half years on Tuesday.

Bolton Crown Court heard London-born Graeme Maynard, 39, was so outraged by the July bombings he left the hoax device near an Asian restaurant.

Maynard planted it in Rochdale and said there was another in Bradford.

Passing sentence Judge Warnock said the offence promoted terrorist bombings by attacking "our multi-cultural society".

Maynard was born in Battersea, South London but now lives in Heywood, Greater Manchester.

'Lager boast'

The court heard Maynard had been watching TV news reports about the London bombings' investigations on 29 July.

He boasted to his partner after drinking eight cans of lager: "It's so easy to make a bomb if you know anything about chemistry."

Maynard then took items from his kitchen to the garage to where he used a container of cooking oil with wires leading to a false detonator and a mobile phone strapped to the top to resemble a bomb.

An attached note warned: "Any more then we start, this is a last warning."

Bomb disposal

He drove to an Asian area of Rochdale and left it outside a restaurant.

An army bomb disposal team carried out a controlled explosion on the device after police had cleared the area at 2020 BST.

Disappointed he had not made the news reports Maynard used an old sim card from his mobile and rang 999 at 2300 BST telling the operator: "Hello. This is Sooty. Have you found the bomb on Milkstone Road, Rochdale? Well, it's a dummy, and the next one will be a real bomb and it will be in Bradford."

However detectives traced the sim card to his address.

'Criminal act

He told police he wanted local people to understand what Londoners were going through.

Paul Humphries, defending, said Maynard, now living on sickness benefit after leaving his job as a forklift truck driver because of his alcoholism, never intended to hurt anyone and denied being a racist.

Maynard, who had 32 previous convictions including child sex offences, arson and burglary, admitted one charge of placing a hoax bomb with intent.

Judge Warnock said: "Nobody should underestimate the seriousness of this offence. There is no mitigation whatsoever in the point that it was a reaction to the London terrorist bombings. It was a criminal act.

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