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Christmas bomb hoaxer admits sending fake bomb that shut down village

A man from St Dogmaels has admitted to orchestrating a bomb hoax that led to a village being shut down and shipping being disrupted during the Christmas period last year. Lee Francis Moody, aged 58, appeared at Swansea Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to sending a homemade mock explosive device, with the intention of causing fear and panic, to an address in Flushing, Cornwall. He also pleaded guilty to sending a letter intended to cause distress or anxiety to the same recipient on December 7th, 2022.

Initially denying the bomb hoax charge, Moody changed his plea to guilty at the court appearance, admitting to sending a package that was so realistic authorities did not know it was a hoax until they tried to detonate it. Residents were evacuated, businesses had to close and shipping was disrupted. Moody had sent the package with text that said ‘make your peace with God. I am coming for you’ and a drawing of a stickman with an axe to its heart, a knife to its neck, and a house on fire. The hoax bomb was posted from Guildford in Surrey on December 21st.

The incident led to the police and the bomb disposal squad being called to Flushing in the early hours of January 8th. The Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team was contacted to investigate and a command centre was set up by the police at Tregew Barn above the village. Residents were evacuated, a 100m cordon was put in place, and the roads surrounding the area were closed.

The case was described by Judge His Honour PH Thomas KC as ‘in many ways bizarre,’ and he ordered a pre-sentence report to be compiled by the probation service. Moody, who is currently on remand in HMP Swansea, was warned to expect jail time when he returns for sentencing next month.

The incident shocked the community of Flushing, and the news of Moody’s guilty plea has brought relief to residents who have been living with the memory of the bomb hoax for months. The case serves as a reminder of the seriousness of sending hoax bombs and the impact they can have on local communities.