Walter Mitty character in court after 999 call threat to blow up Wisbech Police Station

PUBLISHED: 16:39 26 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:35 02 June 2010

A WALTER Mitty character threatened to blow up Wisbech police station during a 999 call. James Harry Lee called to make a routine complaint about Cambridgeshire Police. But when the 66-year-old was told it wasn t an emergency he threatened to blow the

A 'WALTER Mitty character' threatened to blow up Wisbech police station during a 999 call.

James Harry Lee called to make a routine complaint about Cambridgeshire Police.

But when the 66-year-old was told it wasn't an emergency he threatened to "blow the whole station to smithereens" in 10 minutes.

Officers went round to his home in New Drove, Wisbech and found he had no means to make an explosive device.

Yet even though it was an empty threat made by an "eccentric and lonely man", Judge Jonathan Haworth it was "of the utmost gravity".

Sentencing Lee to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, Judge Haworth said: "Whether it occurs in a flash of anger or is pre-planned, no police officer can afford to ignore the sort of threat you made."

Lee called the emergency services on September 9 2009 because he felt police had failed to deal with a complaint he had made.

He was told it was not an emergency and replied: "Do you want me to blow the place up in 10 minutes?"

Lee added that he had learned to make bombs while serving in the Armed Forces and could assemble them in his kitchen.

The force responded by sending officers to his home. When they arrived, Lee said to them: "Have you come about the bomb?"

Police searched the house but could find no explosive equipment.

He later said in interview that he had been "at the end of his tether" and had "lost his temper".

Cambridge Crown Court heard how Lee had struggled to over the death of his wife in 2004.

He had turned to heavy drinking and had become "eccentric and lonely", defence barrister Faras Baloch said.

Mr Baloch added: "It's quite clear he is a Walter Mitty character who has no idea how to link explosives and doesn't have the material to do so."

Lee will also be supervised by the Probation Service for 18 months.


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