In the current climate, making hoax phone calls about bomb threats is extremely stupid indeed, but perhaps even more so when you’re only doing it because you want a day off work.
Aaron O’Neill, 20, was a sub-contractor for Intel at the time and, after a heavy night of drinking and taking pills with his friend Colin Hammond, 21, he didn’t particularly fancy going into work the next day.
So, because apparently neither of these guys had heard of pulling a sickie or using food poisoning as an excuse, O’Neill paid his friend to call in a fake bomb threat from a payphone outside Hammond’s house.
However, the 999 call did a bit more than get this fool a day off work – it shut down the M4 motorway, disrupted air traffic control and actually prevented some 4,000 Intel staff from going in to work.
According to the Irish Times, in the call, Hammond told the emergency services operator there were bombs located at Intel which would go off in 12 hours, saying: “You will not find them. This is a warning, we’re everywhere now”. He then claimed he was part of “Islamic State” to complete the stupid ruse.
At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Martin Nolan succinctly summed up the thoughts of pretty much everyone when he described O’Neill as “profoundly stupid” and called the duo’s plan “a very, very strange way to avoid going to work”.
Both men pleaded guilty to making a false report on the Bath Road on January 13th 2015. Neither man has previous convictions.
Hammond was sentenced to 200 hours of community service, in lieu of of a two year prison sentence, when his case was dealt with last month. At court today, the judge confirmed that O’Neill can expect the same punishment but adjourned the case until January to get a report from the Probation Service to see if he’s suitable for community service.
What’s perhaps most remarkable about all of this, is that O’Neill claimed he genuinely didn’t think the call would be a big deal. It’s a bomb threat, mate. They’re taken pretty seriously, strangely enough!