Bridge ‘bomber’ pleads guilty to hoax

The man who earlier this year brought the centre of York to a standstill after claiming to have a bomb, has pleaded guilty to causing public alarm.

Judge Stephen Ashurst adjourned sentencing Wayne Wright, 43, until June 6 in order to gain more details about Wright’s violent past.

It was discovered that Wright, who did not apply for bail, has a history of mental illness and previous convictions for violent crimes during the 1990s, including threats to kill and wounding with intent to grievous bodily harm.

However, his lawyer argued that his client’s actions on February 10th were a desperate cry for help. He told the Judge that the defendant’s lack of fixed address made it difficult for him to gain necessary medical attention for his mental health problems.

Wright was on the city’s Ouse Bridge in February this year when he caused chaos by claiming that the bag he was carrying contained a bomb. Nearby bars and restaurants were evacuated and the bridge was shut down as police embarked on a three-hour stand-off . The situation was finally brought under control at around midnight when officers used rubber bullets against Wright before overpowering him and taking him into custody. Bomb-disposal specialists were called to the scene to deal with the bag, which did not turn out to contain explosives.

Wright pleaded guilty to making the false claim and Judge Ashurst said that the offence caused “very, very considerable alarm at the time”. However, he also said that he needed time to consider the validity of the claim by Wright’s barrister that his client, who was homeless at the time, cannot be held responsible for his actions because of his fragile mental state went the event occurred. Judge Ashurst added he needed to assess Wright’s previous convictions before deciding on a sentence.

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