Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 4°C

Search

Sudbury: Cleaner who threw ‘hoax bomb’ into manager’s office at Kingfisher Leisure Centre is jailed

PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 January 2014

James Hasler

James Hasler

Archant

A cleaner who threw what appeared to be a smoking bomb at his boss has been jailed.

James Hasler, 34, had shouted “I’ve had enough. I quit” before lighting a fuse on the device, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

The terrified manager who was the target of the prank at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Sudbury, John Scarff, needed six weeks of counselling to recover from the ordeal.

Hasler, of Woodhall Road, Sudbury, had returned to Mr Scarff’s office moments later to say that it had been meant as a joke. Hasler was immediately suspended from his job.

The whole incident had been caught on CCTV and the recording was shown to the court.

Judge John Devaux jailed Hasler for 14 months for placing a hoax homb. Hasler had also pleaded guilty to production and possession of cannabis.

Edward Renvoize, prosecuting, said Mr Scarff, who had experience of munitions from his RAF service, had been badly shocked when Hasler burst into his office on October 18 and threw what appeared to be dynamite.

Mr Scarff had managed to kick away the smouldering device, consisting of three red tubes taped together with a fuse, and it had gone out.

Police arrested Hasler early the following day at his home where a search uncovered chemicals used in the production of fireworks.

Also found were three cannabis plants and a small quantity of cannabis which the court heard Hasler had smoked on the daily basis for the past 13 years.

Hasler had told police: “The intention was a joke. I did not intend to cause any fear.”

Defending, Jonathan Seely said Hasler, who had expressed considerable remorse, had not been pursuing any form of vendetta or dispute against Mr Scarff.

Mr Seeley told the court: “Perhaps astoundingly at this time the defendant was in the process of applying for a pay rise and which Mr Scarff was helping him with.”

Hasler’s sense of humour was, at times, “monstrously bad” said Mr Seely.

Giving evidence about his son, Stephen Hasler said: “He does like playing jokes and perhaps doesn’t realise that some of them are not funny.”

Sentencing him, Judge Devaux told Hasler: “Happily the fact is these cases are unusual.”

Judge Devaux granted a restraining order banning Hasler from contacting Mr Scraff for the next three years.

Tracey Loynds, chief executive of South Suffolk Leisure which manages the Kingfisher centre on behalf of Babergh District Council, told the EADT: “The incident was managed quickly and efficiently by our team and by Suffolk Constabulary. We are now keen to put this event behind us and move on.”

2 comments

  • This is absolutely ridiculous! It shouldn't even have got to court, let alone sending the poor guy to jail for 14 months.

    Report this comment

    Ex-IP17

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • I think 14 months is a little too long, but then he won't serve all of that. However, I do believe a custodial sentence is appropriate since the manager (or anyone else) might have seriously hurt themselves in trying to escape what they thought was a real bomb.

    Report this comment

    justmyopinion

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A community school art project has helped break down the “invisible barrier” between the Whitehouse and Whitton wards in Ipswich, a former mayor has claimed.

An amateur dramatic group in Kesgrave has paid tribute to one of its longest serving members ahead of its new show – the first in 49 years not to have included his input.

Kesgrave High Show will tomorrow be putting on its first big show in five years, as it bids farewell to a long-running dance teacher and helps raise money for the department.

Singer Peter Andre will be meeting his fans and signing copies of his 2017 calendar and new perfume at the Buttermarket in Ipswich.

Her interactive presentation, which focussed on the importance of e-safety for young people, at the pupil referral unit in Spring Road was praised by the academy’s deputy head Trudy Read.

An Ipswich driver has been banned from the road for six months after being caught speeding four times in seven weeks on the A12 near East Bergholt.

The University of Suffolk will be offering higher and degree apprenticeships for the first time from June – a move which business leaders say will mark Suffolk as a driving force in skills and leadership.

Dozens of swimmers have taken to the water in preparation for conquering the Great East Swim this summer.

Formed from Suffolk stone and sand through feats of strength and will of man – its fortifications stood the test of time as well as any of its kind.

Business students at West Suffolk College have used their entrepreneurial skills to raise more than £3,000 in just five days.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24