sENTENCING: Exeter Magistrates' Court
POLICE were told a bomb had been posted through the letterbox of a city nightclub and was set to go off, a court heard.
A hoax 999 call was made to police by 20-year-old David Legg, at 8.30pm last Friday.
Exeter Magistrates' Court heard that Legg told officers in the call: "There is a bomb in Vaults in Queen Street. It will go off in 25 minutes."
He said he had just come out of a young offenders' institute and had a button in his hand that he could press to detonate the bomb.
Prosecutor Lindsey Baker told the court Legg was counting down the detonation of the device in the phone call.
He then told the call handler he wanted to jump off the old NatWest building.
A short time later he told officers his name was David, he was a Thomas Cook travel agent in the city centre and added he could hear voices in his head.
He continued talking, telling the officer he was on top of a building, looking for the right spot to jump off.
A short time later he told the call handler that he was by the Probation Service offices in Princesshay.
Mrs Baker said: "He said he had a lighter and was going to set fire to himself."
Police arrived at the probation office and found a drunk Legg with his phone, 30 minutes after he had started the call.
He was arrested and interviewed and told police he had made the call.
Legg, of Peryam Crescent, Exeter, admitted sending a message by means of a public communication network for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety.
The court was told this was the sixth time Legg has made false calls to emergency services, wasting police time.
Mitigating, David Battaliou, told the court Legg had deep-rooted psychological issues.
He said Legg had a failed relationship and was speaking about "what he imagined he would like to do to the place where he thinks the other person might be".
He said Legg was embarrassed about what he had done and it was a "cry for help".
Legg had been drinking all day.
Probation told the court that Legg was "immature and attention seeking" and there was nothing they could do to help.
It was suggested to the court that he could attend Intercom, an agency in Exeter that helps young people address and explore issues with identity and sexuality.
Magistrates asked Legg why he made the calls.
He replied: "I don't know. I just want to be heard, I suppose."
They told Legg: "The police could have had a call that was genuine and they would have been messing around with you and someone could have died.
"The consequences could have been really awful."
They sentenced Legg to a tagged curfew order for three months between 7pm and 7am.