A cleaner who threw what appeared to be a live bomb at his manager has been jailed.
James Hasler, 34, had stated, “I have had enough, I quit”, before lighting a fuse on the device, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.
John Scarff, the terrified manager of the Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Sudbury, needed six months of counselling to recover from the incident.
Hasler, of Woodhall Road, Sudbury, returned to Mr Scarff’s office moments later on October 18, to say it had been a joke. The prank was caught on CCTV and the recording shown to the court.
Judge John Devaux jailed Hasler, who pleaded guilty, for 14 months for placing a hoax bomb. He had also pleaded guilty to production and possession of cannabis.
Prosecutor Edward Renvoize said Mr Scarff had been badly shocked. He had managed to knock the smouldering device – three red cubes taped together to resemble dynamite – and it went out.
Police arrested Hasler early the following day and searched his home, where chemicals used in the production of fireworks were found.
Officers also found three cannabis plants and a small quantity of the drug, which the court heard Hasler had smoked daily for 13 years.
In mitigation, Jonathan Seeley said his client had expressed remorse and had no vendetta against Mr Scarff.
“Astoundingly, at this time the defendant was in the process of applying for a pay rise, which Mr Scarff was helping him with,” he told the court.
Hasler’s sense of humour was “monstrously bad”, said Mr Seeley.
Judge Devaux granted a restraining order, banning Hasler from contacting Mr Scarff for the next three years.