A woman has been jailed after making hoax bomb threats across the Fylde coast, including Blackpool Tower.
Hayley Robertson, 36, of Dickson Road, Blackpool, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison at Preston Crown Court on May 5.
In February the Metropolitan Police contacted Lancashire Police reporting they had received messages to a police text service from a male called ‘Ayden’. The messages suggested Ayden was walking in Blackpool with a gun and a knife and would harm someone. Officers traced the messages to the Dickson Road area but failed to find the person involved.
In March Lancashire Police received a text message suggested there was a bomb at Blackpool Tower and a few days later West Yorkshire Police received a report from an Ayden Robertson suggesting he would bomb Blackpool North Station. A further call was made to police claiming there was a bomb in Blackpool town centre.
During March a number of bomb threats were made including:
- A threat to bomb gardens on March 11. Police believe this referred to the Winter Gardens.
- A message was sent to police threatening to blow up a nail bomb in the town centre.
- On March 16 another text message was sent to police suggested there was a bomb at Blackpool North Station and the caller had a knife they would harm people with.
- A further call was made to police on March 16 claiming there was a bomb in a train station.
- A bomb threat on March 17 at an address in Normanton, close to Wakefield, made by webchat to West Yorkshire Police. West Yorkshire Police traced the message to an ‘Ayden Robertson’ in Blackpool.
- On March 24 a text was sent to police making a threat to bomb Blackpool Magistrates’ Court. The courts were evacuated and searched.
On March 25 a call was received from a male threatening to harm themselves in Blackpool. Officers attended North Pier and found Hayley Robertson, who also identified as Ayden Robertson. They tried to speak to her but she kicked out at officers and during a struggle dropped five knives.
Robertson was arrested and charged with making a bomb hoax – communicating false information, possessing a knife in a public place and assaulting an emergency worker.
She pleaded guilty and was jailed for three and a half years.
Ch Insp Marie Haworth, of Lancashire Police, said: “The 999 system exists in case of emergency. It is intended to be used only when there is a crime in progress or where life is at risk.
“Robertson contacted police on numerous occasions, making false claims, wasting police time and taking officers away from genuine emergencies. Her behaviour was inexplicable and completely unacceptable.
“Our call handlers take 999 calls for people in genuine need of emergency help. Robertson’s hoax threats may have delayed or prevented people with genuine concerns attempting to get through.
“Such irresponsible behaviour wasted valuable time and at the very worst, could have cost lives.
“We welcome her imprisonment and hope it serves as a warning to others who make hoax threats.”