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Patient issued bomb threat against GP practice to get earlier appointment

A patient threatened to blow up a GP surgery with a bomb - unless he was given an earlier appointment.

James Arnott, 29, who was 'clearly drunk', stormed into the Whitchurch Village Practice in Cardiff, demanding to immediately see a doctor.

But a court heard Arnott shouted: 'Protect your families, I’ve got a bomb.'

Prosecutor Kathryn Lane said up to 70 people inside the surgery had to be evacuated after Arnott made the bomb hoax.

Miss Lane said: 'Arnott entered the surgery at 10.30am and had an appointment booked for 12pm but he was not happy to wait.

'Ten minutes later a nurse looked for him but he had left. He returned at 11:30am, he was clearly drunk and unsteady on his feet.

'He said: "Protect your families, I’ve got a bomb". 

'He told staff he had a bomb and with one touch on his mobile phone he would be able to blow the place up.

'That caused alarm and distress within the surgery and the practice had to be evacuated.'

Miss Lane said one mother fled with her young baby and hid in her car after Arnott’s threat. 

Arnott was later arrested but told police he couldn’t remember what had happened.

Arnott, of Pontypridd, South Wales, admitted false communication at Cardiff Crown Court.

He was handed an 18 week suspended sentence and given a curfew between 7pm-7am.

Recorder of Cardiff, Judge Eleri Rees said: 'Here was a busy surgery with lots of people who were there presumably because they were already feeling unwell.

'Your behaviour was completely out of order and completely unacceptable because you could not wait for your appointment and to threaten you had a bomb.

'Nowadays people do take the threat of a bomb seriously.'

Speaking after the sentence, Lisa James, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: 'James Arnott caused fear and distress to patients and staff as he shouted these threats.

'The surgery staff acted with professionalism despite Arnott’s behaviour and took steps to ensure patients were safe. Faced with the evidence presented by the CPS, Arnott pleaded guilty.'

Readers' comments (6)

  • He was drunk and threatening people at 10.30am.

    What's the point in giving him a 7pm-7am curfew?

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  • doctordog.

    Certainly makes a change from verbal abuse!

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  • Expectations are very high these days.Patients wants first class care in a collapsing NHS.
    Zero tolerance is the way forward.

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  • I certainly hope he was removed from the list. Feel sorry for his next practice though. Surely these people should lose the privilege of a registered GP, or at least be forced to only attend with police escort.

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  • Joys of the NHS. Privatise it. You want an immediate service, this cost xxxxx. they do that at the embassy and even Disneyland. That will put him off his sense of entitlement.

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