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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 September, 2004, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Accused made '18 hoax 999 calls'
Wimbledon tennis courts
The alleged bomb hoax was on the day of the women's singles final
A man almost put a stop to a Wimbledon women's singles final with a hoax bomb call, a court has heard.

Jerry Trafford, 41, now of Clevedon, Somerset, denies telephoning the control room at Wimbledon and calling the tournament's security "crap".

A jury at Bristol Crown Court heard that the hoax call was made minutes before the final was due to start.

The court heard that Mr Trafford made 17 other 999 hoax calls prior to the Wimbledon 2003 final.

Bristol Crown Court heard how the Wimbledon control room received the threat around 1415 BST. Police traced the call to a Philips Savvy mobile owned by Mr Trafford.

At 1445 BST police decided it was a hoax call after receiving information from Orange security staff.

Phone found in flat

Nicholas Gerasimidis, prosecuting said: "At 2.12pm the control room at Wimbledon was contacted to the effect that there had been a bomb threat.

"The caller had told the operator: 'There's a bomb at Wimbledon, the security is crap'."

Tennis officials decided not to evacuate the 30,000 crowd after being told it was a hoax.

Mr Gerasimidis told the court that police searched Trafford's flat the next day and found the mobile telephone.

Mr Trafford said he had left the phone in a jacket pocket in a pub and had not made the hoax call.

He is charged with communicating false information with intent.

The case continues.


SEE ALSO:
Man denies Wimbledon bomb hoax
15 Mar 04  |  Devon


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