A man who threw a bottle containing vinegar and bleach into a Spalding pub to make others believe it would explode was jailed for five years and ten months on Friday.
Jay Savage (30) pleaded guilty to a charge of placing an article in the Lincolnshire Poacher pub on 13 November last year.
The particulars of the charge specified that Savage placed a bottle containing vinegar and hydrochlorite bleach in the pub to induce others to believe it would explode or ignite causing personal injury or criminal damage.
Lincoln Crown Court heard a phone call was made to the landlord of the pub at 3.51pm on November 13, 2022 to tell him a bottle was next to his pool table.
David Eager, prosecuting, said the caller stated: “There is a bottle next to your pool table. Don’t open or touch it, it will blow up.”
The landlord went to check and could see a curdling bottle on the floor next to the pool table, Mr Eager said. He then checked his CCTV and could see a man wearing a mask throwing the bottle into the pub.
Mr Eager said the background to the incident was an earlier phone call made by Savage in which he asked for another employee of the pub to stop messaging his former partner.
During that call Savage warned: “Your pub is going to be off the grid.”
Investigations showed the bottle contained bleach, tin foil and white vinegar which Savage had purchased from various shops in Spalding.
Forensic officers confirmed that if the bottle containing those items had been opened it would have released chlorine gas.
“This device was a real device,” Mr Eager explained. “Although it would not have exploded, had a member of the public opened that cap then it would have released chlorine gas.
“Indeed the office at the police station had to be evacuated after officers who examined the bottle felt unwell.”
Savage, of no fixed address, also pleaded guilty to a string of other offences including assault causing actual bodily harm to Joey Laws on November 2, 2022, possessing cannabis, theft, stalking, threatening to cause criminal damage and two breaches of a non-molestation order.
Mr Eager said the assault on Mr Laws also occurred outside the Lincolnshire Poacher pub on November 2, 2022.
“The defendant punched him numerous times,” Mr Eager added.
The court heard Savage also admitted stalking a work colleague between November 22, 2022 and January 27, 2023, and the theft of personal items from her.
Mr Eager said Savage bombarded the woman with calls, messages, and notes, and asked her back to the office after hours.
Savage was sacked from his job as a cleaner after he was identified from photographs he sent to her.
“She was left feeling petrified and intimidated,” Mr Eager added.
He also pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis on 27 January, and two breaches of non-molestation order relating to a second woman.
In mitigation, the court was told psychiatric and pre-sentence reports were ordered on Savage.
They revealed he suffered from a lack of mainstream schooling and parental control during his childhood in London, which led him to becoming involved in gang culture.
The court heard Savage made positive steps after being released from his last custodial sentence in 2017 – moving from London to Lincolnshire and gaining employment.
Rebecca Barrowcliffe, mitigating for Savage, added: “This was not a bomb in the traditional sense of the word, and there was no mass evacuation.”
Passing sentence Recorder Graham Huston said the contents of the bottle had been examined and would have reacted together to produce chlorine gas.
Recorder Huston told Savage the authors of the psychiatric and probation reports were troubled by the lack of remorse and explanations for his behaviour.
“The assessment is you provide a high risk of harm to the public and known individuals,” Recorder Huston added.
A restraining order was also made which prevents Savage from contacting any of his victims or going to the Lincolnshire Poacher pub.