1. ITV Report

Teen found guilty of sending bomb hoaxes

A teenage boy has been found guilty of sending bomb hoaxes to two major US airlines.

Plymouth Youth Court was earlier told that he sent American Airlines and Delta Airlines messages on social media referring to a "tick, tick, ticking" sound on their planes. Both messages also read: 'Sorry gentlemen, the clock is ticking'.

One of those lovely Boeing airplanes has a tick, tick, ticking in it. Hurry gentlemen, the clock is ticking


There's a nice tick, tick in one of those lovely Boeing planes, high quality


An assessment was made on the credibility of the threat, but given its unspecific nature, no action was taken and the matter was passed to the UK authorities, the court heard.

Police searches led officers to the home of the teenager in Plymouth and he was arrested in November 2015 and charged with five offences.

The boy previously admitted three charges:

  • CHARGE 1: Between October 10 2014 and January 27 2015, states he "did a series of unauthorised acts... being reckless as to whether the acts would prevent or hinder access to a program or data held in computers".
  • CHARGE 2: Between October 29 2014 and November 29 2014, states the boy prevented or hindered access to a computer used to host websites relating to SeaWorld.
  • CHARGE 3: On January 26 2015, states the boy prevented or hindered access to a computer used to host a website relating to Devon and Cornwall Police.

Today he was convicted of the other two charges, namely the bomb hoax messages to the two airlines.

The defendant knew what he was doing was wrong and deliberately targeted a number of websites causing them to crash temporarily.

One of those websites was that of Devon and Cornwall Police, making it much harder for the public to access the help and support they needed.

I hope this will send a message to anyone who thinks they can hide online or use social media to create a climate of fear that they will have to face the consequences of their actions.”

– Ben Samples, senior crown prosecutor for the South West

The case has been adjourned for pre-sentence reports.