Father reveals doubts over neck bomb extortion attempt

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The father of a teenager who spent 10 hours with a bomb chained around her neck has revealed might not have called police if he had realised the incident was an attempted extortion.

Wealthy Australian businessman Bill Pulver said he might have paid the ransom rather than call the police to avoid risking his daughter’s safety further. Neither knew at the time the bomb was fake.

Mr Pulver spoke outside New South Wales state District Court, where investment banker Paul Peters, 52, appeared for a sentencing hearing after pleading guilty to breaking into the Pulver mansion in Sydney and attaching the bomb.

He faces as long as 20 years in prison when the hearing continues next week.

“If I had known there was an extortion letter, I ask myself the question: Would I have actually rung the police?” Mr Pulver said. “I’m really not sure what I would have done,” he added. “He very nearly got away with it.”

Peters admitted entering the mansion on August 3, 2011 before attaching the device to then-18-year-old Madeleine Pulver, who had been home alone studying.