Teen jailed for bomb threats which closed Bedfordshire schools

Lester Mason
December 8, 2018

We've sent in a student with a bomb.

George Duke-Cohan, who was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Friday, sent thousands of emails to schools, colleges and nurseries across the United Kingdom and America warning that bombs had been planted in classrooms.

He also emailed "over 1,700 schools and other educational establishments" in March this year "threatening to set off an explosive device if payment was not made as directed", before calling police two days later "asking for advice because you thought your phone had been hacked, although you denied any involvement in the bomb threats".

The court heard that one of the emails, sent to a special needs school, read: "This is a message to everyone". The only way out is to go out with a bang.

Sitting at Luton Crown Court to sentence Duke-Cohan, the judge told the teenager this morning: "You enrolled to study for a Diploma in Information Technology at West Herts College in Watford in September 2016".

Schools were evacuated and, where they were not, those in charge had to take agonising decisions.

'The passengers and crew on that flight on 9th August must have been terrified when their plane was taken to a quarantined area, and, apart from the financial cost, the onward travelling plans and connecting flights would have been in disarray, ' he added.

The ringleader of a gang of cyber hooligans that made bomb threats against hundreds of schools and launched distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Web sites - including KrebsOnSecurity on multiple occasions - has been sentenced to three years in a United Kingdom prison, and faces the possibility of additional charges from US -based law enforcement officials.

The teenager was sentenced to one year for the emails sent to schools and two years for the airport security scare.

A teenager has been jailed for three years for making hoax bomb threats to hundreds of schools and a transatlantic flight.

Officers recovered multiple electronic devices belonging to him, the use of which was in contravention to the pre-charge bail conditions imposed on him.

A tweet sent after the plane landed included the words "9/11 remake".

In an operation supported by Hertfordshire Police, Duke-Cohan was arrested by NCA officers for the third time at his home in Watford on Friday 31 August.

The calls were taken seriously. The sentence handed down to Duke-Cohan today highlights the consequences of such offending.

For sentencing purposes, the judge accepted a forensic psychiatrist's report which suggested that Duke-Cohan suffers from an autism spectrum disorder, commenting: "T$3 o say that this is an excuse for what you have done is an insult to the many thousands of sufferers who lead law abiding lives".

Anya Lewis, mitigating for Duke-Cohan, described him as "vulnerable" and "remorseful".

Anne McCracken, from the CPS, said of Duke-Cohan: "His actions and complete lack of regard for other people caused widespread and unnecessary worry".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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