Belfast Telegraph

Bomb hoax man caught on CCTV sent to jail

By Ashleigh McDonald

Police have welcomed the jailing of a disabled man who placed a hoax bomb at an Alliance office and threatened to kill the party's East Belfast MP and an MLA.

Jonathan Ginn (33), who suffers from celebral palsy, was linked to both the hoax bomb alert and making threatening calls to Naomi Long MP and Chris Lyttle MLA after his distinctive walk was captured on security cameras.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC said the crimes committed by Ginn were designed to threaten and intimidate the two politicians from performing the role they had been elected to perform.

Belfast Crown Court heard that the incidents - which happened in the aftermath of Belfast City Council's decision to restrict the flying of the Union flag at City Hall - left both Mrs Long and Mr Lyttle fearful and stressed. In Mrs Long's case, she also had to step up her personal security.

Ginn was caught on CCTV placing a hoax device at Alliance's Upper Newtownards Road office in the early hours of October 2, 2013.

Several days later, he made a call from a phone box in Portadown to the same office, telling a member of staff "just to let you know that Naomi Long and Chris Lyttle are going to get executed".

When CCTV pictures were viewed, the caller was identified as Ginn due to his distinctive walk.

Welcoming Ginn's three-year sentence, Detective Sergeant Mark Bell said: "His actions took place at a time when there were heightened tensions in the area and may indeed have increased them.

"Today's sentence should be a warning to others that there are significant consequences for those who seek to threaten elected representatives just because they disagree with their views."

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