A former hospitality worker drunk-dialled a prominent hospital to warn the receptionist there was a bomb inside and the building was on fire before stating he wouldn’t mind “blowing up” a bridge, a court has been told.
David Anthony Hohn urged the woman to evacuate the Caboolture Hospital but then denied making the threat when challenged.
Quick-thinking staff were able to keep Hohn on the line long enough for police to locate and arrest him, Brisbane District Court was on Thursday told.
Moments after making the hoax threat, Hohn then said he wouldn’t mind “blowing up a bridge to Bribie Island”.
“I’m profoundly sorry for my actions, Your Honour,” Hohn, 60, told the court after pleading guilty to a single count of making a hoax bomb threat.
Crown prosecutor Toby Corsbie said Hohn was “heavily intoxicated” when his call was transferred to Caboolture Hospital’s Mental Health Unit on October 28, 2021.
He told the receptionist who answered: “So you’re administration are you? You need to put the phone on loudspeaker, there’s a bomb in the hospital, the building’s on fire, you need to tell everyone to get out.”
Mr Corsbie said Hohn then denied making then threat when asked by staff to clarify the threat.
“They managed to keep him on the phone the entire time … police were able to very quickly attend and locate him while he was still on the phone,” Mr Corsbie said.
The court was told the threat was not taken credibly and the hospital was not evacuated.
Hohn, who suffers from longstanding alcoholism as a result of the drinking culture of the hospitality industry, was “profoundly” remorseful.
His defence barrister Tristan Carlos said there was no threat of violence when he phoned the hospital.
“When he was challenged to repeat his threat he claimed ‘I didn’t say that, I really like you guys’,” Mr Carlos said.
Hohn also suffered from debilitating back pain and had complications from surgery for prostate cancer.
“You should know a simple threat like that carries with it a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment,” Judge Nathan Jarro told Hohn.
He imposed a nine-month probation period for Hohn’s “foolish actions”.
“It should demonstrate the importance of addressing your alcoholism,” Judge Jarro said.