News

Man makes bomb threat after 'cop' dobbed him into Rebels

UNDER the false belief a copper had dobbed him in to the Rebels motorcycle gang, Vernon Richard Grey phoned triple-zero and told the operator he had placed a bomb outside the Rockhampton watch house.

As the building went into lockdown, police officers across town were diverted to track down the 49-year-old.

They found him, severely intoxicated, near the public phone on Musgrave St which had been used to make the call.

Thankfully, Grey was just bluffing and no one was harmed.

Grey pleaded guilty last week in the Rockhampton District Court to a bomb hoax offence.

Crown prosecutor Susan Hedge told the court it was lucky the incident occurred on a Saturday, when fewer staff and members of the public are present at the watch house and adjoining court house.

While the incident could have been worse, Judge Paul Smith said police officers should be protected from feeling scared and intimidated.

"In the present climate where there are risks of terrorism, it's very serious," he said.

"Jokes are not tolerated."

Defence barrister Jeff Clarke told the court his client suffered from schizophrenia and chronic alcoholism.

A psychiatric report tendered to the court suggested Grey had no insight into how his actions may affect others.

Judge Smith took into account the seven months Grey has already served behind bars.

He sentenced Grey to 18 months, eligible for parole on November 28.

Topics:  bomb threat, rebels



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