Steven Cook told magistrates he had ‘lost everything’ after being accused of a bomb scare that led to Bury St Edmunds arc shopping centre being evacuated.
On Monday Bury Magistrates Court decided the case against Mr Cook, 35, had ‘not been proved beyond reasonable doubt’. They found him not guilty of making arc security guard Colin Montgomery and Debenhams security man James Hostler believe he had a bomb on June 18.
After repeatedly denying he said there was a bomb in his bag, Mr Cook, formerly of Devon Close, Bury, but now of Cambridge Close, Haverhill, said: “I’ve been to the doctor four times, I’m on anti-depressants, I lost my jobs, my girlfriend left me. Sometimes now, because of this, I wish I was dead.”
The court heard the security men took Mr Cook to an interview room because they thought he was taking drugs in Debenhams’ toilets.
Anne Gray, prosecuting, said of the security men’s’ evidence: “Both have told you independently that he said there was a bomb in his bag
“Clearly Mr Cook was upset, irritated and angered at being asked to go and provide his details. In interview he implied he had managed to fool them.”
Jacob Edwards, defending, said there were discrepancies in the security men’s evidence and that while Mr Hostler said CCTV footage of the interview room had been given to the police, there was no record of that.
Mr Cook said he was asked to sign a form saying he was banned from the shop, but was not told why.
Mr Edwards asked what he would have said if told they thought he had been taking drugs. Mr Cook said he would have invited them to search his bag. He he said he asked if they thought he was ‘a shoplifter or a terrorist’ but denied saying he had a grenade.