Schools bomb hoaxes: Teenager jailed for nationwide threats

George Duke-Cohan being arrestedImage copyright
National Crime Agency

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The moment 19-year-old George Duke-Cohan was arrested by NCA officers

A teenager who sent thousands of hoax bomb threats to schools and triggered an American airline security scare has been jailed for three years.

George Duke-Cohan, 19, sparked nationwide panic and a transatlantic investigation from the bedroom of his home in Watford, Hertfordshire.

He pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court in September to three counts of making hoax bomb threats.

It followed an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The court heard he sent hoax threats in emails to more than 1,700 schools, colleges and nurseries across the UK and America, claiming he would set off a device if money was not handed over. Hundreds of the schools were evacuated.

NCA investigators, working with the FBI, also found that while on pre-charge bail for the threats to the schools, Duke-Cohan made bomb threats to a US-bound plane via phone calls to San Francisco Airport and police.

‘Perverted fun’

Jailing him, Judge Richard Foster said: “You knew exactly what you were doing and why you were doing it, and you knew full well the havoc that would follow.

“You were playing a cat-and-mouse game with the authorities. You were playing a game for your own perverted sense of fun in full knowledge of the consequences.”

His defence barrister said psychology experts had described Duke-Cohen as very immature, but the prosecution said he craved attention from his followers on social media.

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