Teenager jailed for sparking bomb hoax and hijack terror
THE idea of a job for life is history as today’s young workers expect to stay in their current job for just four and a half months, new figures revealed yesterday.
Previous generations expected a job to last for years as they climbed the corporate ladder, but 16- to 29-year-olds will stay less than 150 days before moving on.
Hiring app Job Today surveyed 2,000 working adults and found under30s often move to get a different lifestyle, such as being able to work from home or have more flexible hours. A TEENAGE loner was jailed for three years yesterday for making bomb hoax threats to hundreds of schools after being inspired by the Columbine High School massacre.
George Duke-Cohan, 19, also sparked a transatlantic airline hijacking panic during a campaign of chaos launched from his bedroom.
Duke-Cohan sent threatening emails to more than 1,700 schools – including Kate Middleton’s college Marlborough – and upwards of 400 had to be evacuated.
The autistic teenager terrified school authorities by warning that he wanted to “follow in the footsteps of our two heroes” from the 1999 US school shooting spree.
Jailing him at Luton Crown Court yesterday, Judge Richard Foster, the Recorder of Luton said: “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. The scale of what you did was enormous.
“Schools were evacuated and, where they were not, those in charge had to take agonising decisions.”
He added: “Your fascination with computer hacking and your motivation of seeking notoriety is indicative of your high culpability.”
The court heard that IT student Duke-Cohan first created panic at Watford College, Herts, where he was a student, with a bomb threat which led to 2,500 students and staff being evacuated. Two months later, he emailed hundreds more schools, threatening to bomb them unless they paid him dollars.
Rebecca Austin, prosecuting, said his warnings caused “alarm and anxiety”, with one saying: “This is a message to everyone. We’ve sent in a student with a bomb.
“The point is when you put the school in lockdown, this student will set off the bomb and will kill every student in the room and maybe the rooms next to it.
“If you try to call the cops we will blow up the device on the spot. Any attempt at defusing it yourself will cause it to explode.”
Police arrested him days later, but he was bailed and sent more menacing mails the following month to schools including Marlborough
‘You were playing a game for your own perverted sense of fun’
5,000 US College, Wilts. Ms Austin said it was “clear” the defendant added “authenticity” by mentioning the Columbine outrage, where two students shot dead 12 classmates and one teacher.
Duke-Cohan was arrested a second time, but released on pre-charge bail with conditions that he did not use electronic devices.
However he then called San Francisco’s airport and police force, claiming hijackers planned a “9/11 remake” on an inward-bound United Airlines flight.
The airport authorities took the threat seriously and a full security operation got underway before investigators were satisfied it was a hoax.
Dressed in a grey jumper with a blue collar, Duke-Cohan, of Watford, admitted three counts of making hoax bomb threats.
The judge accepted he has autism spectrum disorder, but said his actions were not explained by “naivety or a cry for help from a sick person”.
Anya Lewis, defending, said DukeCohan, was “vulnerable” and “remorseful”.
She added that he had been heavily influenced by the computer fantasy game Minecraft and was groomed by fellow players.
Anne McCracken of the CPS said: “His actions and complete lack of regard for other people caused widespread and unnecessary worry.”
Duke-Cohan told police hijackers planned a ‘9/11 remake’ on a United Airlines flight
Loner Duke-Cohan ‘sought notoriety’