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Sentencing delayed for man who made hoax bomb threat to Holyport College

Tara O'Connor

Tara O'Connor

Sentencing delayed for man who made hoax bomb threat to Holyport College

The sentencing of an ‘angry man’ who threatened Holyport College and the Royal Borough has been pushed back following a request in court.

Ryan Westbury appeared at Reading Magistrates Court today (Friday) carrying a suitcase and holdall, expecting to be sentenced.

The 35-year-old of Altwood Road, Maidenhead, has pleaded guilty to making two threatening phone calls on November 19, 2015.

First he called Holyport College in Ascot Road and spoke to admissions and communications officer Maria Smith at 12.47pm.  

He complained that the school had received a £480,000 grant from RBWM, widely reported by the Advertiser at the time.

Prosecution Jane Davies told the court: “He said if the money was not repaid the school’s website would be taken down.

“He said he was from an organisation called Anonymous and there was a bomb in the school.”

Before Mrs Smith hung up on him he said ‘die bitch’.

Westbury made another phone call at 1.40pm, this time to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council, which was answered by democratic services manager Karen Shepherd.

He ‘demanded’ to speak to Cllr Simon Dudley. When asked who was calling he said he it was Simon Miller from the group Anonymous.

He again complained that the money had been given to Holyport College and repeated the threat to take down the council’s website if the money was not repaid.

That evening the Facebook account of ‘Simon Miller’ ‘liked’ Holyport College’s Facebook page.

The incidents were reported to police who were able to match the mobile number to one given by Westbury when he had reported a theft the previous month.

On November 26 Westbury was arrested at his home in Altwood Road, in a search of his house a computer was found displaying the name Simon Miller.

When taken to Maidenhead Police Station he denied being Simon Miller and making the phone calls.

Ms Davies listed a number of previous crimes dating from the 90s to 2014.

The more than 25 offences covered fraud, theft, drug offences, weapons and public order offences and included a threatening call to Slough Borough Council in 2014.

Westbury’s defence Nigel Daly outlined the 35-year-old’s mental health problems and his mistreatment when he was brought up in care.

Mr Daly said: “This is an angry man in my submission and has been angry for a long time and the primary reason for this is how he was treated when he was in care.”

Westbury is a father of two and his partner, who was in court, is pregnant with his third child.

Mr Daly said Westbury currently has access to his children and a stable home which he would lose if he served a prison sentence.

Judge Alexia Durran agreed with Mr Daly’s request to postpone the sentencing until after Westbury has seen the integrated physiological therapies team.

He will return to Reading Crown Court on July 21 and has been released on bail with conditions not to contact Maria Smith, Karen Shepherd, Holyport College and RBWM.

Judge Durran said: “I am afraid I’m not going to accept you saying this [the therapy] is something you want to do then as soon as court passes its sentence you disengage.”

She added that the decision means there is ‘absolutely no promise’ she will not give him a prison sentence.

He pleaded guilty to communicating false information with intent, and communicating and conveying threatening messages at the same court on April 5.

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