A TEENAGER who threw flammable packages onto the M3 motorway causing huge disruption for thousands of motorists was today thrown behind bars.
Nicholas Elger, 17, of Winchester, pleaded guilty of two counts of arson with intent and two counts of theft from a shop. He was jailed for four and a half years at Winchester Crown Court. and will serve a further four and a half years on licence.
Last September cops attended the southbound carriageway of the M3 after reports debris had been thrown on to the road.
A second incident took place later in the same month where there were items on the southbound carriageway of the busy motorway near Winchester.
With there grave risk to motorists, police immediately called for support from specialist officers - including the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team - to assess the items.
Counter Terrorism Police South East were also called in to assist with the investigation of materials found on the road resulting in the motorway being closed for several hours.
Senior Investigating officer detective inspector Lee McClellan said: ‘This investigation was complex in its nature and involved significant specialist resources from the start.
‘The teenager responsible for the main incident caused chaos for the motoring public of Hampshire and beyond, and disrupted a key busy road network for many hours.
‘He had no regard for the safety of the public or the disruption he caused on such a wide scale, and although it was determined that there was no terrorism-related element to this incident, it happened at a time when tensions were high following incidents across the country over the summer months.
‘With the national threat continuing to be assessed as severe, it caused a degree of unnecessary panic and uncertainty to the public.’
The teenager also pleaded guilty to two counts of blackmail and seven counts of non-dwelling burglary in relation to separate incidents during his appearance at court.