The Bush Street dental surgery was subjected to a string of attacks
An elderly man who planted a hoax bomb in a revenge plot against a dentist he felt overcharged him, has been told only his age has kept him out of jail.
Peter McShane, 84, of Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, appeared at Swansea Crown Court after admitting making the bogus bomb and seven other charges.
He left the fake device outside the Bush Street dental surgery in Pembroke Dock, sparked a major police operation.
McShane received a 34 week suspended jail sentence and a curfew order.
The court heard that the hoax bomb was the latest in a string of attacks on the surgery, after being charged £183 for dental work in 2007.
His actions included super-gluing locks to the surgery doors, spray painting the building with black paint and stealing a plaque.
But matters came to a head when a ticking box, with wires showing, was discovered in a bin liner on the surgery steps.
It led to a full-scale operation involving army bomb disposal experts, with streets and homes in the area evacuated.
McShane's act was caught on CCTV camera and he admitted being responsible for planting the hoax bomb and vandalism when arrested.
He also admitted vandalism against tenants who rented flats from him at Ettrick House in Law Street in the town.
The pensioner also admitted burgling one of the flats a decade ago and stealing four radiators.
His barrister, Georgina Buckley, said: "He is now extremely remorseful. He had not fully appreciated what he was doing. Now, he is shocked by his behaviour."
But Judge Keith Thomas told McShane that he was a vindictive man "determined to get his own back on people who had upset him".
"In this day and age a bomb hoax is bound to be taken seriously by the authorities," he added.
"You had a grievance against the dental practice. You caused disruption to the general public and the bomb squad had to be called in."
The judge said the offences would normally attract a prison sentence, and it was only because of McShane's age that he was agreeing to suspend the jail term.
McShane was also placed under a 12 month supervision order, banned indefinitely from visiting the dental surgery, and also placed under a curfew between 2000 and 0800 for the next three months.