A MAN who sent a hoax bomb that shut down a village for five hours has been jailed.

Lee Moody, of St Dogmaels, admitted sending a fake bomb to an address in Flushing, Cornwall, which led to more than 100 homes being evacuated and local businesses and waterways being shut down.

He also previously admitted to sending his victim a letter threatening to kill him.

Swansea Crown Court heard that Moody had a “dislike” of his victim over the potential development at the harbour at Sailor’s Creek, near Falmouth, where the defendant had lived on a boat for 15 years.

Moody sent the developer a letter on December 7 last year made up of “magazine text” which read “Make your peace with God as I’m coming for you”.

The letter also contained “an illustration of a man with an axe and a house burning,” said prosecutor Zoe Kuyken.

Ms Kuyken said that, two weeks later, Moody drove to Guildford and posted a package to the same victim.  

Upon receiving the package, the victim called the police, and a cordon was put in place for five hours – with between 200 and 300 people evacuated and local businesses and the waterways were closed.

An initial inspection by Royal Navy personnel found the package “contained elements of an IED (improvised explosive device),” Ms Kuyken said.

Following further inspection, the package was deemed to be “not viable” and a controlled explosion was carried out.

Tivyside Advertiser: The bomb disposal team’s robot that was used in Flushing to inspect the suspicious package.The bomb disposal team’s robot that was used in Flushing to inspect the suspicious package. (Image: Jeremy Ward)

The defendant’s home was searched and elements of the hoax device were found, and ANPR cameras showed the defendant had driven his car to Guildford Post Office and back on the day the package was posted.

After being arrested, Moody claimed the victim had “made up” the allegations to “make him move out of the Creek”, Ms Kuyken said.

He later pleaded guilty to both offences.

Moody, 58, had one “blemish” on his record from 1992, defence counsel Hannah George said, adding that these offences were “out of character”.

“His sole purpose in life is fishing, boating, and all things seafaring,” she said.

Ms George said there was a “fractious relationship” between the defendant and his victim, and he “found it difficult to reconcile the developer’s interests with his own”.

Moody’s mental health had “deteriorated significantly” since 2021 and he had been self-medicating with alcohol, Ms George said.

He suffered from PTSD, anxiety and depression, and due to this, was “unable to consider any other reasonable alternatives”.

Ms George said Moody’s actions were “an act of desperation”, but he now acknowledged that “he shouldn’t have done what he did”.

Judge Geraint Walters sentenced Moody to two years in prison for the bomb hoax, and six months – running concurrently – for sending the letter threatening to kill his victim.

The defendant was also made the subject of a 10-year restraining order.