Man jailed over bomb black­mail

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - NEWS - BY TOM WILKIN­SON

A G4S em­ployee who sent an anony­mous let­ter threat­en­ing to blow up vans and de­mand­ing £1mil­lion from the firm is­sued an apol­ogy to col­leagues from court be­fore he was locked up for two years for black­mail.

Daniel Gar­land, 20, caused work to halt at the cash-han­dling de­pot in Thorn­aby, Teesside, when he posted the chill­ing note in Jan­uary say­ing he had planted re­mote­ly­con­trolled “mini-bombs” on ve­hi­cles.

More than 100 po­lice of­fi­cers joined a ma­jor in­quiry across four force ar­eas, cash-in-tran­sit vans were re­called to the de­pots to be searched and the se­cu­rity giant’s losses were put at £15,000.

The po­lice oper­a­tion was es­ti­mated to have cost a fur­ther £35,000.

Gar­land, from Durham Place, Ch­ester-le-Street, County Durham, had ad­mit­ted a bomb hoax charge and was con­victed af­ter a trial of a black­mail of­fence.

Be­fore he was sen­tenced to two years in a Young Of­fend­ers In­sti­tu­tion, Gar­land read out a let­ter via a vide­olink from prison.

Gar­land said: “I would like to ex­press my heart­felt apolo­gies to the Crown, mem­bers of G4S, the po­lice and any in­di­vid­u­als that might have been af­fected by my mind­less and thought­less ac­tions.”

Sen­tenc­ing at Durham Crown Court, Recorder Euan Duff said: “We live in an age when bombs which can kill or maim are sadly a fea­ture of mod­ern life in the UK. No bomb threat can be taken lightly.”

The judge ac­cepted Gar­land never in­tended to make £1m from the let­ter, but said his in­ten­tion was to get two col­leagues into trou­ble.

The let­ter, which Gar­land took pains not to touch with­out gloves, said the two were in­volved in an ear­lier, un­solved rob­bery on a cash-in-tran­sit van.

Gar­land claimed dur­ing trial that he had been bul­lied by them at work, but the judge dis­missed that.

He be­lieved they might lose their jobs as a re­sult of his plot.

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