Teenager to be sentenced for making hoax bomb threat to thousands of schools
A teenager is due in court to be sentenced for making bogus bomb threats that triggered the evacuation of more than 400 UK schools and an airport security scare.
George Duke-Cohan twice targeted schools in the UK and US with hoax messages, before phoning in a fake report of a hijacked aircraft while under investigation.
The 19-year-old, of Mutchetts Close, Watford, pleaded guilty in September to three counts of making hoax bomb threats, during a hearing at Luton Magistrates’ Court, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.
He was remanded in custody and is due before Luton Crown Court to be sentenced on Friday.
Duke-Cohan had first created panic in March 2018 when he emailed thousands of schools in the UK warning about an explosive.
More than 400 schools were evacuated as a result, according to the NCA.
Police arrested him days later, but he was able to send another batch of emails to schools in the US and UK while under investigation in April.
His messages claimed a pipe bomb had been planted on the premises.
Duke-Cohan was arrested for a second time and released on pre-charge bail with conditions that he did not use electronic devices.
Before long his name was in the frame for a third hoax, regarding a bogus tip-off that hijackers had taken over a United Airlines flight between UK and San Francisco.
Detectives found that Duke-Cohan had made the calls to San Francisco Airport and their police force while he was on pre-charge bail for the two previous offences.
He was arrested for a third time at his home in Watford, Hertfordshire, on August 31 this year.
NCA senior investigating officer Marc Horsfall said Duke-Cohan’s actions caused “serious worry and inconvenience to thousands of people” and he had carried them out “hidden behind a computer screen for his own enjoyment”.