Hoax ‘ISIS jihadist’ jailed for spate of Newcastle bomb threats

Reuters / Nigel Roddis
Prank phone calls to Newcastle police landed a man in prison after he called in a series of bomb threats and pretended to be a member of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

Colin Gibson, 26, made four late night phone calls to police claiming there were bombs planted at Newcastle Central Station.

Gibson claimed his name was William Robson and that he was a member of the Islamic State. He told police that Colin Gibson had planted a number of bombs.

Gibson, who had used two sim cards to make the calls from his mobile phone, was tracked down and arrested before any disruption was caused to commuters. No explosive devices were discovered when British Transport Police officers searched the station.

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He admitted four charges of communicating false information.

Judge John Milford QC sentenced him to 16 months in prison for the bomb hoaxes and a further six weeks for the breach of a suspended sentence.

When he made the calls, Gibson was on a suspended sentence for telling the police he was about to take his own life by jumping from the city's Tyne Bridge.

The judge said: “Claiming to be a member of Islamic State, you said that a number of bombs had been planted at the central station in this city and were set to explode.

“So members of British Transport Police had to search the railway station and satisfy themselves that there were no suspicious packages to be found, as indeed there were not.

“It is right the station was not evacuated, so members of the public were not either frightened or inconvenienced.”

Gibson has more than 100 previous convictions. His defense attorney Joe Hedworth said Gibson is an “extremely vulnerable” young man with a personality disorder, who was seeking attention by making the calls.

“He is greatly ashamed about his actions and also extremely embarrassed,” said Hedworth.