A DESPERATE criminal who tried to be sent back to prison by causing a bomb scare at Rotherham Interchange failed when he was handed a suspended sentence.
Scott Elsey pleaded guilty to the hoax and to stealing £45 worth of cheese when he appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court last Friday.
Elsey’s lawyer, Mr Sal Ahnoud, said he had wanted to return to custody “so he could have some food and a place to stay”.
But the magistrates refused to grant his wish, sentencing the 35-year-old to 22 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months.
Ms Susan Fisher, prosecuting, said Elsey, of Broomhall in Sheffield, had stolen ten packets of cheese from the One Stop Shop on Park Road, Thrybergh, on September 6 after being released from prison on licence days earlier.
He approached a police community support officer in the interchange in Rotherham at 5.50pm on September 26, Ms Fisher said, and told the officer he was wanted by police because he had breached his curfew and ripped his electronic tag off.
The officer had made enquiries and found Elsey’s claims were false, the prosecutor said.
Elsey then asked the PCSO: “If I p**s on you will you lock me up?”, the court heard.
Ms Fisher said: “I think the defendant has then given the PCSO his phone number and asked him to contact him if he found out anything about the tag issue.”
At 7.30pm, she added, South Yorkshire Police had received a call from a man who said: “I’ve got a bomb and I’m going to blow everything up at Rotherham bus station.
“If you don’t come and arrest me, I’m going to blow it up.”
Ms Fisher said: “The PCSO, who had previously had dealings with Elsey, was made aware of the call, recognised the defendant’s voice and the defendant was arrested.
“The phone he had in his possession was the phone that had made that call to police.
“It seems the defendant was just trying to get sent back to prison.”
Mr Alnoud said Elsey had stolen the cheese to sell on and make a profit as he did not have any money from when he was released from prison days earlier.
“The hoax call is completely out of character,” he said.
“He tells me he’s extremely embarrassed and ashamed that he’s made such a call. It was foolish and with no meaning or purpose behind it.
“He is remorseful and knows it would have caused some inconvenience — thankfully it didn’t in terms of police and emergency services being called out, but had the potential to do so.
“He wanted to be taken into custody so he could have some food and a place to stay.”
Elsey, who has previous convictions mainly for dishonesty, had struggled with drugs and alcohol but was now living with his new girlfriend, which he hoped would give him stability to help him overcome the transition period, added Mr Alnoud.
Elsey admitted theft and communicating to police information he knew to be false with the intention of inducing a false belief that a bomb was present.
He was also ordered to pay £45 compensation in relation to the theft and £85 costs.