Pranksters who attempted to place incendiary device as a "joke" avoid jail

Lincoln Crown Court
Lincoln Crown Court

Two men who attempted to place a hoax bomb on a Grantham street were spared jail after a court heard it was a "scary prank".

Robert Kwa, 35, and Stephen Wells, 63, both pleaded guilty to attempting to place an incendiary device in Thorneydene Gardens, Grantham, on October 14 last year.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Kwa had agreed to drive two men to Grantham because he was "broke" but a third man also joined them.

During the journey Kwa became aware the others were going to deposit a plastic bag containing petrol as "some sort of joke," the court was told.

Jonathan Dunne, prosecuting, said a basis of plea from Wells in which he said they were going to a party and were attempting to place the device as some sort of "scary prank" was accepted by the prosecution.

Mr Dunne told the court an eyewitness overheard part of a conversation in which a member of the group said: "I think he lives up here."

The item did not go off but both men admitted there was an intention to cause somebody else to believe that it would explode or ignite.

Neil Sands, mitigating, told the court Kwa only became aware of the plan during the journey to Grantham.

Mr Sands said: "He knew they were up to something, he knew it wasn't right.

"He chose not to ask any questions, he took the petrol money because he was broke."

Kwa, of Duke Street, Creswell, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to attempting to place an article with intent on October 14, 2016. He also admitted a bail charge of failing to surrender.

He was sentenced to five months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, and must carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Wells, of Coleridge Gardens, Lincoln, admitted attempting to place an article with intent on the same date.

He was sentenced to four imprisonment suspended for 18 months by Recorder Matthew Lowe and must also obey a home curfew.