A MAN responsible for a bomb hoax at a shipyard that led to the evacuation of thousands of site workers has been jailed for nearly two years.
Royal Navy engineer Michael Turnbull telephoned the site, alleging there was a bomb aboard one of the Astute submarines.
A total of 1,700 staff were sent home after fearing a bomb had been planted inside Devonshire Dock Hall.
BAE bosses later revealed that after a thorough search of four boats, they believed the fear was a hoax.
Appearing at Preston Crown Court, Turnbull was sentenced to a total of 21 months behind bars.
The 33-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of providing information “which you knew or believed to be false with the intent to make that person or anyone else believe a bomb was present in a submarine “.
The incident occurred on April 10, 2019.
At a hearing in South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court last year, prosecutor Lee Dacre said the incident delayed BAE Systems production by eight days and government ministers as well as the Royal Navy had followed the events of the day.
He said all boats must have critical systems shut down quickly.
“This caused an eight-day delay in what is a critical national security asset,” Dacre said.
Police and paramedics were called into the yard at around 9.20am on the day in question.
Staff starting shifts at 4 p.m. were able to start working normally later in the day.
“Our first priority is always the safety of employees, the site and local residents, so in accordance with our emergency procedures, we have made the decision to release DDC staff earlier today,” said a porter. word of BAE Systems at the time.
Reacting to the conviction, Barrow Island councilor Allison Johnston said the incident would have been frightening for those living nearby.
“They’re sitting right in the middle of the shipyard,” she said.
“A bomb is scary enough for any inhabitant.
“He potentially put people’s lives in danger.
“It’s an unfortunate incident for everyone involved.
“I’m sure he didn’t expect jail time.”
Cllr Johnston said the prison sentence seemed “fair”.
BAE launched its fifth Astute HMS Anson submarine earlier this year.
Two more boats are under construction at the shipyard, while work on Dreadnought-class submarines is also underway.