A HOAX caller who told Wrexham shop staff there was a bomb in their store has been jailed for five years.
Paul William Jones, 30, was sentenced at Chester Crown Court for three counts of communicating false information with intent on January 29.
The court heard Jones made hoax calls to Poundland in the Island Green Shopping Centre, Wrexham, Iceland in Frodsham Street, Chester, and the Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham.
In each call he claimed there was a bomb on the premises.
Jones, of Maple Avenue, Oswestry, also asked the Recorder of Chester, Judge Elgan Edwards, to take 16 similar offences into consideration.
Jones first rang The Bullring saying he had planted a bomb.
A search was carried out but the centre was not evacuated.
Jones then phoned Poundland in Wrexham, sparking an evacuation and search.
At 5.30pm Jones phoned Iceland’s Chester store. The store was evacuated and the premises searched, causing disruption and loss of trade.
Jones called Miss Edwards at Poundland again at 6.30pm and warned her against reporting the call to police.
Officers began a search of Chester city centre and arrested Jones in St Werburgh Street at 7.45pm.
The court heard Jones told officers he had suffered a breakdown. He had tried to obtain counselling but had failed and was angry. The series of phone calls was a release for the anger.
The court heard Jones had a criminal record dating to 1997 for similar offences and had served several jail sentences for making hoax phone calls to locations including Wrexham, Chester and the Arndale Centre in Manchester.
Ashley Barnes, defending, said: “The defendant acknowledges this is something that continues to happen as a strategy for dealing with the upsets of life and it's something that needs to be dealt with.”
Judge Edwards said the 38 days that Jones spent on remand would be deducted from the sentence.