Bomb hoax calls ‘inspired by arrests’ — (The Courier Mail)

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The Courier  Mail

By Johanna Leggatt

07 dec 05

A MAN charged with a series of bomb hoaxes that disrupted Brisbane’s transport network was inspired by the arrests of the terror suspects in Sydney and Melbourne, a court has heard.

Delivery truck driver Rodney Bruce Watson, 46, of Munruben, southwest of Brisbane, has been charged with four counts of making a bomb threat, which caused peak-hour chaos to buses and trains on November 14.

His bail application hearing in the Supreme Court in Brisbane today was told Mr Watson had been motivated to make the hoax calls in the wake of the November 8 arrest of 15 people in Sydney and Melbourne suspected of planning a terrorist attack in Australia.

Justice Bob Douglas said: “Watson told police: ‘I had seen what happened down south with the terrorist suspects and I thought it would be a prank to make the calls’.”

Justice Douglas refused Mr Watson’s application for bail on the grounds that while he was unlikely to re-offend, if he did so, the consequences could be great. He then allegedly phoned back to say they would explode at 5pm (AEST) and made a phone call to the ambulance suggesting they prepare for an explosion.

The court was told the next day Mr Watson called the Beenleigh police station and said their response was “not too bad” and to be aware because it may happen again.

Mr Watson’s lawyer, Chris Wilson, told the court his client was a depressive who was taking the antidepressant Prozac at the time of allegedly making the calls.

He argued his client should be bailed because “if it weren’t for the fear of terrorism in the community he would be entitled to bail”.

“This (offence) pales in comparison to the usual Supreme Court bail applications brought before this court for manslaughter, rape and the like,” Mr Wilson pleaded.

Mr Watson will reappear for committal mention in the Brisbane Magistrates Court next year.