Gosport man behind fake bomb detectors avoids jail

Paul Nelson outside Portsmouth Crown Court at an earlier hearing

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A MAN who made bogus bomb detectors in his garden shed has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Anthony Williamson, 58, from Montgomery Road in Gosport, was convicted at the Old Bailey in May of making the XK9 substance detector between 2008 and 2009.

He was described as a ‘prodigiously dishonest conman’ who sold ‘what was in truth no more than a non-functioning novelty toy’.

Judge Richard Hone said between 45 and 75 of the detectors were manufactured in Williamson’s garden shed and sold for £500.

The devices were then sold on for £3,000 or more by others.

Williamson made a profit of between £22,000 and £37,000, the court heard.

Williamson was said to have mental health problems but had managed to run his business at some profit for a number of years. But Judge Hone accepted Williamson had also had a minor stroke.

Richard Horwell QC, defending, said Williamson had suffered significantly since he was interviewed by police.

He was given a two-year sentence, suspended for two years.

Williamson will be required to observe a six-month curfew.