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

Man jailed over hoax bomb on bus

Nicholas Roddis
A psychological report said Roddis was "prone to fantasy"

A follower of Islamic militancy who left a hoax bomb on a bus and collected materials to make explosive devices has been jailed for seven years.

Nicholas Roddis, 23, of Reedham Drive, Rotherham, had denied various terrorism-related charges but was convicted at Leeds Crown Court.

He left the "device", which included wires and a clock, on a bus after boarding the vehicle in disguise.

Judge John Milford QC told him: "You wanted to be a terrorist".

Roddis was sentenced to five years in jail for engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism, and two years for placing the hoax bomb on the bus with intent. The sentences will run consecutively.

He was charged after police found information about making an explosive device, chemicals, including acetone and hydrogen peroxide, fuse wire and a quantity of nails at his home.

The three-week trial heard how Roddis boarded the Maltby to Rotherham bus service on 8 May last year wearing a false beard, and left the hoax bomb, which consisted of a bag of sugar, a clock and wires, in a plastic bag on the vehicle.

After passengers noticed the package, the bus and neighbouring houses were evacuated and an Army bomb disposal team blew it up.

A note was found with it which said, in badly written Arabic, that Britain "must be punished" and was signed al Qaida in Iraq.

The cordoned off bus
An Army bomb disposal team blew up the device

Judge Milford said Roddis' interest in Islam came from his immaturity and isolation and his reaction to the break-up of his parents' marriage.

"You retreated into a world of your own," he said. "Your anger at the world in general for the unsatisfactory state of your own life found expression in radical Islam.

"You wanted to be a terrorist and had started down that path, or were acting it out, when you placed the hoax bomb."

In mitigation, Paul Watson QC said a psychological report showed Roddis was "prone to fantasy".

In a statement, Det Ch Supt John Parkinson, head of the Counter Terrorism Unit in Leeds, said: "Nicholas Roddis is a disaffected, yet dangerous individual.

"While he may not have progressed as far as carrying out an act of violence, he had already performed an elaborate bomb hoax, causing disruption and unnecessary fear to bus passengers.

"Furthermore, Roddis demonstrated an intent to carry out acts which could have caused harm to innocent people. He had also researched explosives and purchased potential components."

Muslim convert in hoax bomb trial
30 Jun 08 |  South Yorkshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific