Garrard Ndela Pleads Guilty to Communicating False Information About a Bomb
Online prankster and YouTuber Garrard Ndela is currently awaiting sentencing after a stunt at Newcastle Airport led to his arrest on charges of communicating false information about a bomb hoax.
On July 3, the 19-year-old was apprehended minutes after his arrival at the airport.
Ndela was recording himself inside the terminal building, walking past check-in desks while claiming possession of an explosive device.
The intention was to upload the footage to his YouTube channel.
However, his plan was abruptly curtailed by vigilant security staff and officers from Northumbria Police, who swiftly detained him.
Ndela, who hails from Ellison Villas in Gateshead, was taken into custody.
Subsequently, he faced charges relating to the incident and appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on July 5, where he pleaded guilty to communicating false information about a bomb hoax.
Given the serious nature of his actions, Ndela has been remanded in custody until his sentencing on August 2 at Newcastle Crown Court.
The Gravity of a Bomb Hoax in English Law
The Criminal Law Act 1977 of England and Wales takes a stern view of bomb hoaxes.
Specifically, Section 51 of this Act considers it an offence to communicate false information with the intention of inducing someone to believe that a bomb or similar potentially harmful explosive device is present in any place or location.
Even the mere act of creating a false impression of a bomb, which could include a phone call, an email, a letter, or a social media post, is enough to commit the offence.
Actual possession of a bomb is not a requisite for the offence to be committed.
Penalties for a bomb hoax are severe, with a maximum term of 7 years’ imprisonment.
Ndela now potentially faces this stern reality, awaiting his sentencing day after his admission of guilt.
Investigating officer Detective Inspector Steve Byrne of Northumbria Police said the case serves as a warning for anyone who thinks this type of behaviour is acceptable.
“Carrying out a prank of this nature at an airport is an incredibly stupid thing to do and can come with a jail term of up to seven years,” said Det Insp Byrne.
“Ndela planned his controversial skit and was naïve enough to believe he could get away with it unchallenged. However, this reckless behaviour is in fact a criminal offence and not something the criminal justice system takes lightly.
“I have no doubt that his appalling actions will have alarmed staff and caused unnecessary distress to passengers and visitors – it is only right that he was detained and arrested.
“The fact he has pleaded guilty and admitted his actions in court speaks volumes and I hope our communities know we take these type of offences incredibly seriously.
”As the summer months approach, our airports and transport hubs will continue to get busier and see more people passing though and we will be working hard with our partners at Counter Terrorism Policing, the UK Border Force and airport security staff to ensure everyone has as smooth a journey as possible.”
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