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Teen Email Hoaxer Gets Three Years

A Hertfordshire teenager has been sentenced to three years behind bars after pleading guilty in September to making bomb threats to thousands of schools and disrupting a transatlantic flight.

George Duke-Cohan, 19, from Watford, first sent bomb threats to UK schools in March 2018 and was arrested days later, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The plot is said to have forced the evacuation of students at 400 schools and colleges.

However, just a month later he sent a mass email to schools in the UK and US warning that a pipe bomb had been planted on their premises, for which he was re-arrested.

Despite being on bail for charges related to these crimes, Duke-Cohan is then said to have made prank calls to United Airlines, claiming a flight to San Francisco from the UK had been hijacked by gunmen.

In one call, he pretended to be a worried father whose daughter had called him mid-flight, warning of the terrorists.

He was then arrested for a third time at his home on August 31, with officers recovering several electronic devices he had been denied access to under his bail conditions.

The 19-year-old had caused “serious worry and inconvenience to thousands of people,” according to NCA senior investigating officer, Marc Horsfall.

“He carried out these threats hidden behind a computer screen for his own enjoyment, with no consideration for the effect he was having on others. Despite being arrested and having conditions imposed restricting his use of technology, he persistently broke those conditions to continue his wave of violent threats,” he added.

“This investigation proves that operating online does not offer offenders anonymity. Duke-Cohan now has a criminal record which will harm his future career prospects and this should act as a deterrent to others.”

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