A truck driver who claimed to have planted a bomb at a Cumbria poultry plant has been jailed for 12 months.

Gerald Lenton of Peterborough had earlier been convicted at Carlisle Crown Court of making the hoax call to the Frank Bird poultry factory in Carlisle. He had denied the charge.

But evidence was given at the trial that police had been able to trace the call back to a mobile phone used by Mr Lenton.

The court then heard that, using a fake Northern Irish accent, Mr Lenton had told a receptionist at the plant: “We are animal rights. We have an incendiary device on your premises.”

Management at the plant took the warning seriously, and cleared the plant, because 12 years before a live device had been found at the plant after a similar warning.

In mitigation, defence barrister Mark Sharman described the hoax as “unsophisticated and impulsive”.

Passing sentence Recorder Mark Ford told Lenton: “You placed members of the public in fear and caused significant disruption.

“Emergency services were diverted away from their duties, putting the public at risk. A prison sentence to deter other hoaxers is of critical importance,” he said.