Prisoner rang Samaritans to make hoax bomb threats

A dangerous prisoner made seven bomb hoax threats after being allowed to ring The Samaritans from his wing at Wakefield Prison.

Neil Preece-Smith.
Neil Preece-Smith.

Neil Preece-Smith, 32, made multiple phone calls claiming that he had left bombs outside railway stations and in the car park of the category A prison.

Leeds Crown Court heard Preece-Smith also made weapons in his cell of the West Yorkshire jail before handing them to staff.

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The court heard he claimed he had made them in order to attack staff – including the prison dentist.

Richard Walters, prosecuting, said Preece-Smith was on the segregation unit, where inmates were allowed to ring The Samaritans if they were in a low mood.

The court heard the inmate used a phone line which was encrypted so conversations could not be recorded.

On March 10 this year he told a Samaritans volunteer that he had left a bomb near to Wakefield railway station and it was due to detonate in 90 minutes.

Eight minutes later he made another call and put on an Asian accent. This time he claimed he had left a bomb in a shoe box in the prison staff car park.

He made a third call claiming he was a Muslim and was wearing a suicide belt outside Wakefield railway station.

Mr Walters said: “He said he couldn’t take it off as it would activate.”

The court heard the information was passed on the police and officers were sent to investigate the claims.

Preece-Smith made four further calls on March 31 and made bomb threats to Samaritan volunteers.

On one occasion he claimed he was from southern Ireland but had converted to Islam.

He claimed he had placed bombs outside St Pancras station, London, as well as stations in Nottingham, Leeds and Wakefield.

During another call he claimed he had placed bombs outside a number of prisons in retaliation for the Westminster Bridge terror attacks.

Preece-Smith pleaded guilty to five offences of possessing an offensive weapon in prison and seven of making a bomb hoax.

He appeared before the court via a prison video link but had no legal representation.

Judge Sally Cahill, QC, asked if he wanted to comment on the offences but he said he had nothing to say.

Judge Cahill imposed a five-year prison sentence.

Preece-Smith is serving a life sentence for arson with intent to endanger life. He also has a conviction for aiding and abetting the suicide of a prison inmate in 2010. In December last year he appeared before Leeds Crown Court for possessing four weapons inside Wakefield Jail.