Great Horton man admits bomb hoax call for Buckingham Palace

Khalid Farooq outside court

Khalid Farooq outside court

First published in News

A Bradford man is to be sentenced next month for making a hoax call saying a bomb had been planted in Buckingham Palace.

Khalid Farooq, 36, of Laisteridge Lane, Great Horton, pleaded guilty to the charge of communicating false information in relation to a bomb hoax when he appeared before Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The incident occurred at 2.15pm on Saturday, January 26, when Farooq spoke to Margaret Power, a telephonist on the switchboard at Buckingham Palace, telling her that a bomb was in the building.

Farooq, described to the court as a known “pest” caller to police, was arrested after being traced through his phone number.

In mitigation, solicitor Sarah Guttman told the court that Farooq suffered from mental health problems and had previously been a patient at Bradford’s Lynfield Mount psychiatric hospital.

She said: “Mr Farooq has an undiagnosed psychosis problem, which is treated with antipsychotic medication. One of the symptoms of his condition is hearing voices. He also has delusional ideas about surveillance. In this case, he says that he heard a voice that told him to do it.”

The court was also told that a number of hoax calls are routinely received by the Palace, and that in the case of the one made by Farooq there was no need for the building to be evacuated or any emergency services called to the scene.

Farooq, dressed in a white Adidas top and black jacket, attended the court with his father and spoke only to confirm his personal details.

He was granted unconditional bail by District Judge Susan Bouch, who adjourned the case to allow for probation reports to be compiled.

She told the court: “This was a single hoax call made with no aggravating features.”

Farooq will return to the court next month.

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