Ballycastle hoax bomb call

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A Ballycastle man has pleaded guilty to making a hoax call that a bomb would explode two hours later at a pub in the north Antrim seaside town.

Noel McGinn (58), of Mayo Drive, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday June 20 and pleaded guilty to the charge of communicating false information to the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service that a bomb would go off at the Boyd Arms pub in Ballycastle’s Diamond area last year.

A prosecutor said the call was made on March 14, 2015, from a public phone at Duke Street in Londonderry.

CCTV showed McGinn at the phone booth. The call had been recorded and it was believed to be McGinn’s voice.

Defence barrister Chris Sherrard said his client was pleading guilty to the one charge and accepts he made the call.

He said McGinn had previously faced a total of seven charges. The other six charges were withdrawn on June 3.

Mr Sherrard said McGinn is in the care of a mental health team at home in Ballycastle and had arrived at court with a care worker.

The case has been adjourned until July for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Previously, McGinn had been charged with causing a security alert at Ballycastle Police Station and making a number of hoax calls saying bombs had been left at PSNI bases across Northern Ireland.

He was charged with possessing articles for use with a petrol bomb and placing an article to cause a bomb hoax at Ballycastle Police Station on March 5, 2015.

McGinn was also accused of making three hoax phone calls - two to daily newspapers and one to a weekly newspaper - on March 13 last year saying there were bombs at various police stations.

The accused was further charged with possessing a magnet in connection with fraud on March 25, 2014.

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