Disgruntled ex-employee admits making bomb hoax threat at Estee Lauder factory

Sean Fagan leaves Portsmouth Magistrates Court where he appeared charged with making hoax bomb calls
Sean Fagan leaves Portsmouth Magistrates Court where he appeared charged with making hoax bomb calls
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A DISGRUNTLED worker phoned in a bomb hoax at a luxury perfume factory after being sacked for failing a drug test.

Workers at Estee Lauder’s Whitman Laboratories fled the building after Sean Fagan called security using a computerised voice and said: ‘There’s an alert.

‘Bomb going off five minutes to midnight.

‘Good luck and goodbye.’

Concerned workers raised the alarm to bosses only to get another call 13 minutes later at 11.43pm with Fagan, 30, saying: ‘There’s a bomb in the building, you’ve eight minutes to get out.’

Prosecutor Giles Fletcher told magistrates how Fagan carried out the hoax after sending texts to colleagues ‘not to go to work’.

Fagan forced the factory to be evacuated with the loss of two and-a-half hours of work, costing the firm £155,000.

‘He had sent some messages to people saying not to go to work tonight as he’s planning to blow the place up,’ Mr Fletcher said.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard they did not take the warnings seriously, with Fagan later directly calling the laboratory, in Bedford Road, Petersfield, on July 17.

Mr Fletcher said: ‘In this case you’re dealing with an ex-employee of Whitman Laboratories, it’s essentially a revenge or the fact he was dismissed caused bad blood to put it bluntly.

‘A security officer at 11.30pm... he receives the phone call, it was an automated style voice to start with: “There’s an alert.

‘Bomb going off five minutes to midnight. Good luck and goodbye”.’

‘He alerted his manager as he was quite concerned, it’s a serious threat.

‘There was another call at 11.43pm on this occasion a male heard saying: “There’s a bomb in the building, you’ve eight minutes to get out”.’

‘They tried to keep him on the phone for longer but the call was terminated.

‘This time they managed to find a number.

‘They knew from company records the phone number belonged to Mr Fagan.

‘They knew he had been dismissed three to four weeks previously so police attended his home.’

Fagan, of Botley Drive, Leigh Park, admitted to police what he had done.

‘He said he did it as a joke but he accepted that he failed a drug test at the company and was dismissed as a result of that.’

Defending, Howard Barrington-Clark said Fagan had mental health problems.

Fagan admitted communicating false information over the bomb hoax.

City magistrates committed the ‘serious’ case to crown court for sentencing on September 1.