41-year-old charged with causing bomb scare that cost £20k worth of damage

A 41-year-old Derry man has appeared in court charged with causing a bomb scare that resulted in more than £20,000 in lost trade last Tuesday.

39-year-old Martin Stokes of Barr's Lane, Derry was charged with claiming there was an explosive device behind Specsavers on Ferryquay Street.

The court heard that an employee in the shop received a phone call claiming that there was a device at the back of the shop shortly after 10 on Tuesday morning.

The caller claimed it would explode 45 minutes later. The shop was evacuated and the street sealed off.

Police later traced two mobile phone calls to the shop and one of them was from a phone registered to the defendant's wife.

Stokes was arrested yesterday and a police officer said he was unable to give a reasonable explanation of where he was at the time of the bomb warning.

The court was told that the City Centre Manager estimated the revenue lost to have been around £20,000 and there was substantial use of police resources as well including a helicopter.

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter said that these bomb hoaxes caused disruption to everyone.

He released Stokes on £500 bail and ordered him not to possess a mobile phone.

Stokes will appear again on September 15.