Man sentenced over hoax threats

Fri, Jul 23, 2010, 01:00

A 61-year-old Scottish man has been sentenced to four years for sending two hoax bomb threat emails to Heathrow Airport purporting to be from the Scottish National Liberation Army.

Adam Busby (61) was convicted 13 years ago of a similar offence where he made threatening phone treats to Scottish media organisations.

The court heard that other threats and acts of terrorism claiming to be from the SNLA have originated in Ireland since Busby’s arrival here but he is not facing charges or extradition over these. They include threatening the water supply in Manchester and sending vodka bottles to politicians and journalists in England which contained caustic soda.

Busby with an address at Santry Lodge, Ballymun, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of sending hoax messages, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety, at Charleville Mall Public Library, North Strand on May 8th and 15th, 2006. He was convicted by a jury last month and has been in custody since.

Judge Desmond Hogan said it was a serious offence but on the lower end of the scale because the airport authorities did not believe it to be a credible threat, “partly due to Mr Busby’s activities in the past.”

He said the email addresses used by Busby, were “to convey to the authorities that these were being sent by serious people with serious intent.”

However he noted Busby’s age and serious health problems and suspended the final two years of the sentence for four years,

Detective Superintendent Diarmuid O’Sullivan told prosecuting counsel, Mr Dominic McGinn, that both emails made threats against specific transatlantic flights and named their flight numbers. Both emails were sent while the flights were in the air but security services decided no action needed to be taken.

Det Sup O’Sullivan said due to Busby’s “previous activities” the threat was judged to be minimal and neither the flight crews nor the ground crews were notified.

Investigators traced the emails back to a Dublin public library in Charleville Mall which Busby frequented. A log book of bookings for the public computers and CCTV footage showed he was the sender.