Ballycastle pub hoax bomb caller escapes jail

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A Ballycastle man who made a hoax bomb call to a local pub has escaped jail after a judge suspended his sentence.

Suspending the four-month sentence for two years, District Judge Liam McNally told 58-year-old Noel McGinn that while his crime would normally see him going straight to jail, he was taking account of McGinn’s background, the positive steps he was taking to tackle his mental health difficulties, as well as the guilty plea.

McGinn, from Mayo Drive in the seaside town, had previously admitted to causing a hoax bomb alert by communicating information to the NI Ambulance Service which he knew to be false, causing a belief there would be an explosion.

A prosecution lawyer told the court how McGinn had been caught on camera making the bogus call from a public phone box in Londonderry on March 14 last year.