Grandmother sparks bomb scare
A 65-YEAR-OLD grandmother threatened to “bomb” staff at an Ipswich's Child Protection office because she couldn't speak to a manager.
The threat sparked an evacuation of the Brisbane Street office while police searched the building for a bomb.
A thorough search of the building revealed the threat was not carried out.
The Laidley grandmother, whose name cannot be published to protect the identity of her grandson, appeared in Gatton Magistrates Court this week admitting she made the threat during a phone call to the child protection office.
The court was told the woman, who cares for her 12-year-old grandson, called the office twice on August 24 requesting to speak to a team leader.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Karen Hall said the woman became hostile after she asked to speak to a more senior person and was told no one was available.
The court was told the grandmother then said to the employee who she was talking to on the phone: “If I have my grandson taken off me, I will bomb the place.”
The employee terminated the phone call after the threat was made and called police who arrived at the building shortly after 10.45am.
Snr Const Hall said police searched the building, looking for a device but no bomb was located.
The woman's defence lawyer Ross Summers said his client had no criminal history and that her comment was “just a one-off”.
“It was a silly statement that she made because she was upset,” Mr Summers said.
He told the court his client “had no real ability” to carry out such a threat because of her age.
Magistrate Bruce Schemioneck said he sympathised with the grandmother.
“It's still serious that you made a bomb threat to someone doing their job,” Mr Schemioneck said.
The woman was sentenced to a $1000 good behaviour bond for 12 months.
A Department of Communities spokeswoman said each Child Safety Centre has its own emergency management plan with staff trained in how to handle difficult situations.
“The nature of child protection work does unfortunately mean our staff receive threats and verbal and sometimes physical abuse,” the spokeswoman said.
“This is unacceptable and staff are encouraged to report these instances to the police.”