Hoax bomb threat caused train chaos
A TOOWOOMBA-schooled law student shut down one of Brisbane's busiest train stations when he claimed he had a bomb in his backpack just two days before the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Cody Tristan Michael Swindells, then 21, told security at the ticket barrier at South Brisbane Railway Station he had a bomb in his backpack.
When the woman did not react he repeated "I have a bomb in my bag, cool, hey?". She replied "odd, not cool".
Brisbane District Court heard on Tuesday the woman treated the comment with scepticism and was distracted by another customer before discussing whether to alert someone about 5.15pm on September 9, 2011.
Swindells, who went to school in Crows Nest before completing years 11 and 12 in Toowoomba, was able to board a train to the Gold Coast before authorities took action.
Crown prosecutor Mathew Thompson said every train through South Brisbane ceased for 40 minutes while police tracked down Swindells.
He said Swindells' actions affected thousands of commuters as the 40-minute delay then created flow-on effects to the timetable for the rest of the evening.
Mr Thompson said Swindells - who had headphones in while using his laptop - rolled his eyes and smirked at police when they approached him on the train.
He said while people were unaware what caused the train delays in this case, bomb hoaxes "can lead to disruption, alarm and even fear".
Defence barrister Chris Wilson said his client, who had no criminal history, had autism which resulted in "immaturity, impulsivity and social clumsiness".
He said the OP8 student, who first studied science but was now doing bachelors in law and arts at Griffith University, was trying to make a joke to "get a rise" from staff.
He handed up a reference from Swindells' Crows Nest teacher Louise Leggett who he said noted the many occasions her former student made inappropriate comments.
"It was a face-to-face, off-the-cuff remark," he said.
Judge Marshall Irwin said Swindells "impulsively made a stupid, ill-thought comment" which caused "considerable disruption and inconvenience to train passengers that day".
But he said the bomb hoax was not borne from a grudge, there was no fear or terror caused and no evacuations.
He ordered Swindells to complete two years of probation.