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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 September, 2004, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Hoaxer jailed for Wimbledon call
Wimbledon tennis courts
The bomb hoax was on the day of the women's singles final
A bomb hoaxer who nearly put a stop to a Wimbledon final has been jailed for 12 months - six of which will be a suspended sentence.

Jerry Trafford, 41, now of Clevedon, North Somerset, made a call minutes before the 2003 singles match between Venus and Serena Williams.

He told the 999 operator: "There's a bomb at Wimbledon, the security's crap."

Within 30 minutes, the hoax was traced to a mobile that Orange confirmed had been linked to other hoax calls.

The telephone was found in Trafford's flat the following day.

Bristol Crown Court heard how Trafford made 17 other 999 hoax calls prior to the Wimbledon 2003 final.

Trafford, previously of Paignton, Devon, denied the charge of communicating false information with intent and said he had left his phone in a pub.

Sentencing Trafford at Bristol Crown Court, Judge Andrew Rutherford said: "I am afraid in the present climate making a hoax bomb threat is taken very seriously.

"It was mere luck that Wimbledon was not evacuated. This is a very serious offence and has to be punished with a custodial sentence."


SEE ALSO:
Accused made '18 hoax 999 calls'
29 Sep 04  |  Somerset
Man denies Wimbledon bomb hoax
15 Mar 04  |  Devon


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