Man who caused bomb scare to 'speed up' coronavirus vaccine production at factory found guilty

wrexham covid bomb threat
Bomb disposal equipment at the site in Wrexham (left), a picture of the package sent to the factory (right) Credit:

A man has been found guilty of causing a bomb scare at a coronavirus vaccine production site in Wales.Anthony Collins from Chatham in Kent believed he would speed up a cure for Covid by posting the suspicious package to a factory operated by global pharmaceutical firm Wockhardt in Wrexham in January this year.More than 120 staff were evacuated and the army carried out a controlled explosion after an x-ray at the scene showed there were some circuits inside the envelope.

Manufacturing of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was temporarily paused but the hoax did not cause a delay in overall production.

A military bomb disposal vehicle appears to be in attendance. Credit: Ian Hunter

Forensic examination later revealed the package did not contain a bomb but a receipt from Tesco in Gillingham, a calculator, three triple A batteries, and a a pair of gardening gloves. It also contained some paperwork which Collin’s had written his address on.At Maidstone Crown Court a jury convicted him of dispatching an article by post with the intention of inducing the belief it was likely to explore or ignite.

The prosecution said Collins had developed an obsession with Covid and the vaccine believing his delivery would help ‘educate’ the scientists.

The contents of the suspicious package included a calculator and three tripple A batteries Credit: Crown Prosecution Service

The trial was told that the 54-year old has previously sent a package to 10 Downing Street containing a key fob and DVDs, an American airbase in Gloucestershire, Wuhan in China and to the leader of North Korea Kim Jong-Un.A previous package, containing a toy police car and a DVD of the 1960s police show Dixon of Dock Green, was sent to Kent Police Headquarters in August 2018 but Collins was never charged.

Collins will be sentenced on 24th November.