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Trial begins for man accused of involvement in Sudbury bomb hoax

Ipswich Crown Court. (3985080)
Ipswich Crown Court. (3985080)

A man accused of being involved in a bomb hoax, which resulted in Sudbury town centre being evacuated, has gone on trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

Mark Brett, 41, of Tudor Road, Sudbury, has claimed he knew nothing of the incident, until he tried to collect a prescription and found the area around the Barclays Bank in Market Hill cordoned off on January 31.

An Army bomb disposal team were called in, after a suspicious rucksack was found abandoned inside the bank and found to contain four batteries taped together and wires, which gave the appearance of a potential explosive device.

On Tuesday, as the trial began, the jury were told by prosecutor Richard Scott that they must decide what role, if any, Brett had played.

It had been accepted by the prosecution and confirmed by CCTV recordings that Brett did not leave the rucksack inside the bank.

However, Mr Scott said a fingerprint identified as belonging to Brett had been found one of the batteries and his DNA was also on the rucksack.

A search of Brett’s home also revealed the top of a battery of the same type as used the make the hoax device.

Brett has pleaded not guilty to placing an article, with others, to induce the belief that it was likely to explode and communicating false information regarding the same incident.

The court heard that, shortly before 1pm on January 31, an eight-second long call had been made to the emergency services reporting a suspicious bag inside Barclays Bank.

Investigators found the call had been made from Brett’s mobile phone, but with a different SIM card, said Mr Scott.

CCTV images confirmed it was not Brett, who was seen standing opposite the bank with another man, but someone else who had made the call.

Following his arrest, Brett claimed he had found the batteries on a building site, but then discarded them in a bin.

Brett said he had tried taping four batteries together in an attempt to make a more substantial power supply.

The trial continues.