A young Irish man may face many hours of community service for paying his friend to call in a bomb threat to his workplace so he would not have to go to work.
The call resulted in the closure of the motorway, disturbances to air traffic control and prevented 4,000 staff members from going to work.
In January 2015, Aaron O’Neill, 20, and Colin Hammond, 21, both from Balbriggan in Co. Dublin, had been out drinking and taking tablets when O’Neill decided he didn’t want to go to work the next day. At the time, he was working as a subcontractor for Intel at their Co. Kildare base.
It is reported that O’Neill paid Hammond €30 ($32) to call Intel and imply that a bomb was planted on the campus in the hopes that he would not have to go to work the next day.
Hammond preceded to call 999 twice at 6am on January 13 from a phone box outside his home to tell Gardaí that a bomb would explode on the Intel Campus in 12 hours.
“You will not find them. This is a warning, we’re everywhere now,” Hammond said.
When questioned as to who made the call, Hammond responded by saying he was from Islamic State.
The search for explosives after the hoax call resulted in the closure of the M4 motorway, the disruption of air traffic control in the air space over the campus, caused 300 staff members to be evacuated from Intel and prevented a further 3,700 from entering the campus until the threat had been cleared.
It is estimated that Intel lost 6,000 production hours because of the bomb scare.
On Tuesday November 24, the pair pleaded guilty to the hoax bomb scare in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. Neither man has a previous criminal conviction.
Claiming that he had been paid to make the call, Hammond was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service in October. Judge Nolan stated that there was no reason why O’Neill should not receive the same sentence but his case was adjourned until January when the Probation Service will say whether he is eligible for community service.
“It is a very, very strange way to avoid going to work,” Judge Nolan said.
During Hammond’s October trial, Nolan said, “every day presents a new surprise in this court.”
“I thought I've heard very asinine tales but this [case] surprises even this court. He's demonstrated he's profoundly stupid with his behavior, that's the only thing he's done.”
The pair were caught when Hammond was brought to the Balbriggan Garda station by a cab driver for refusing to pay his fare. A Garda at the station recognized Hammond’s voice from the fake call and he was taken in for questioning.
“He [O’Neill] hates work and I made a phone call so he wouldn’t have to go to work,” Hammond admitted.