U.K. man sentenced for anthrax hoax

A U.K. man attempting to put off a sentencing hearing by sending letters with fake anthrax threats to a court has been sentenced to three years for committing acts intended to pervert the course of justice.

Nigel Lamberth of Grimsby, the United Kingdom, was sentenced to 15 months last June for stealing a trailer containing beer, This Is Grimsby reports. To put off the hearing, he allegedly wrote letters with false anthrax threats that claimed they were from animal rights activists.

The letters claimed containers of anthrax were placed at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court and other courts in Hull and Scunthorpe. Lamberth was also discovered letting off a smoke bomb in the men’s toilets.

"It was an attempt devised to put off the sentencing hearing listed for that day," Ian West, the prosecutor said, according to This Is Grimsby.

Lamberth also admitted to committing three high-value thefts of trailers between February 26 and March 8. He had been in custody for 32 days before being jailed for three and a half years.

"While awaiting sentence, you committed a serious offense designed to disrupt, confuse and delay, and cause difficulty to the criminal justice system,” Judge David Tremberg said, according to This Is Grimsby. “There was an element of planning about it. You made very unpleasant threats about the deployment of anthrax. None of it was true. It was a device by you to try to wriggle out of the day of sentence. When you were in the toilets in this building, you set a smoke device off, designed and intended to disrupt the court proceedings and put off the evil day of sentence. It all failed."