A DISABLED woman behind a country-wide bomb hoax campaign has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.
Jacqueline Hustler made sinister phone threats to organ-isations across the country, including Marks & Spencer in Kendal and the Westmorland General Hospital.
Her calls caused buildings to be evacuated and emergency services deployed last October.
In the threats to shops she claimed a bomb would go off in an hour and in another call she claimed she would shoot herself in front of police, Bradford Crown Court was told.
Hustler, 46, of Moorgate Ave-nue, Bradford Moor, admitted three charges of communi-cating false information with intent on October 29 last year at a previous court hearing.
After walking slowly into the dock wearing dark glasses and carrying a stick, she spoke in a barely audible whisper to admit a further nine similar offences on the same day.
Prosecutor Jo Shepherd told the court Hustler rang branches of Marks & Spencer in Kendal, Bradford, Bridlington, Castle Donington and Derby.
She told staff there was a bomb in a brown paper parcel in the main entrance that would explode in 30 minutes. Police were called on each occasion and two stores were evacuated.
Other bomb hoax calls were made that day to Westmorland General Hospital, Kendal, Mil-lom Hospital, Eccleshill Com-munity Hospital and Bradford Royal Infirmary.
The court heard that in her call to Marks & Spencer in Kendal, Hustler called herself Marcus Cartwright and alleged a bomb had been planted in the store. She also said the person responsible was still on the premises holding a member of staff and a young child hostage.
Police responded but it was quickly established that it had been a hoax call.
When arrested, Hustler denied making the calls, saying she had spent the day in church, While on bail, Hustler com-mitted a string of further offences.
Judge John Potter said she was responsible for ‘a campaign of making bomb hoax calls’.
“Members of the public going about their lawful business were evacuated from a number of locations, no doubt causing them at the least inconvenience and almost certainly significant alarm and distress,” he said..
Barrister Sophie Drake, miti-gating, said Hustler was physically disabled, partially sighted and hard of hearing. .
“She is very frightened and vulnerable. She says she hates what she does,” she said.
Det Insp Ryan Bragg, of Brad-ford CID, said: “Hustler made hoax calls, which were under-standably treated as serious threats and caused panic and distress.We are pleased with the sentence and hope it will act as a deterrent for anyone thinking of doing something like this.”