Groom jailed over wedding day bomb hoax to try to prevent bride discovering failure to confirm venueThe Guardian
Neil McArdle could not face telling fiancee he had failed to fill in forms for wedding in Liverpool
A bridegroom has been jailed for 12 months after staging a bomb hoax on his wedding day to try to prevent his bride discovering he had failed to complete the paperwork required for them to marry.
Neil McArdle, 36, had forgotten to fill in the necessary forms but could not face telling his fiancee, Amy Williams, because the wedding was "all she talked about", Liverpool crown court heard.
Instead, as she got ready on their wedding morning, he slipped out of their house and went to a phone box. Disguising his voice, he rang Liverpool register office and said: "This is not a hoax call. There's a bomb in St George's Hall and it will go off in 45 minutes."
The call, 11 days after the Boston marathon bombing in the US, caused the building to be evacuated and the emergency services called. When McArdle, his bride and both families arrived at the building in the centre of Liverpool, the area swarmed with police.
Later, after the building was checked and staff tried to help with the "delayed" ceremony, it was discovered that no booking for the wedding had been made. McArdle's would-be in-laws were already suspicious, the court heard, and Williams's sister was overheard telling a flustered McArdle: "You probably done the bomb scare yourself."