Man jailed over restaurant bomb threats that caused chaos in Glasgow
A MAN who sparked a six-hour siege in a city centre restaurant after he told a waiter that he was carrying a bomb was jailed for more than two years on Wednesday.
Edward Johnston, 38, ordered two glasses of wine in Amarone restaurant before telling the waiter he should evacuate the premises because he had a bomb, Glasgow Sheriff Court heard.
The incident, on 10 February, brought Friday evening traffic in Glasgow city centre to a standstill as streets surrounding the restaurant in Nelson Mandela Place were closed and the navy bomb disposal unit was called.
Johnston, of Whiston, Merseyside, pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to making a waiter at the restaurant believe he had a bomb.
Procurator fiscal depute
Bernard Ablett told the court during an earlier hearing that the waiter, Matthew Horsfall, said Johnston looked straight at him and said: “I have a bomb under my jacket and I want you to get everyone out.”
The waiter told the assistant manager, who then approached the man. Johnston told him:
“I want everyone out.”
A fire alarm was sounded to evacuate customers, and the
police were called. The restaurant was cleared with the exception of Johnston, who remained sitting at his table.
A section of Glasgow city
centre was cordoned off and Buchanan Street underground station was closed.
During the negotiation, Johnston repeatedly said he wanted the police to shoot and kill him, the court heard. He threw a fire extinguisher, a plant pot and other items onto the pavement outside the restaurant.
Mr Ablett added: “The rifle officers positioned round the restaurant were able to confirm as a result of their observations that, contrary to his claim, the accused was not in possession of any bombs or explosives.”
At 11:30pm, police tried unsuccessfully to taser Johnston when he stepped outside the restaurant. The court heard that one barb of the taser struck him and the other attached to the plant pot he was carrying.
Seconds later, police grabbed Johnston and forced him to the ground, where he was restrained and handcuffed. He told police “I want to f****** die” and struggled violently, the court heard.
Sentencing Johnston to 28 months in prison, Sheriff Alayne Swanson said: “This was a significant serious incident in Glasgow city centre which took place over six hours.
“Throughout that time, a large part of the city centre was cordoned off. It severely disrupted many people on a Friday night and the disruption to traffic and public transport was significant. The cost to the public purse was considerable.”
Advocate Tony Lenehan, defending, told the court that Johnston had been diagnosed with mild depression and post-traumatic stress disorder following the loss of an unborn child and due to the financial struggle his family faced.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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