Woman ordered to perform community service for bomb hoax

The three women decided to make the hoax call after playing a game which featured 'explosion sound effects'

A cleaner at the Floriana Health Centre has been ordered to complete 100 hours of community service for her part in a hoax bomb threat at her workplace in January 2015.

In a previous sitting Inspector Priscilla Caruana Lee had testified to having been on duty at Valletta police station when a phone call from staff at the Floriana Health Centre was received, saying that they had received a bomb threat.

This had led to the evacuation of the health centre and a fruitless search by the Bomb Disposal Unit and police dog section. 

Passing sentence on the women this morning, Magistrate Joe Mifsud commented that whilst it had been established that the act had been a serious offence, even if it had been a joke, “this type of humour is not acceptable.”

Two of the three cleaners charged in relation to the haox, Sandra Ellul And Tiziana Vella were conditionally discharged for a year. 

The third woman, Christine Spiteri, was held by the court to have been responsible to a greater degree and ordered to complete 100 hours of community work. “You must make good to society and for what you put your friends through,” the court decreed.

The women had been arrested earlier this year after police had investigated and traced the phone calls to a mobile phone belonging to the mother of one of the accused, who explained to police that her daughter would use the phone.

Summoned to the Valletta Police station, the mother and daughter had been questioned and Tiziana Vella had eventually owned up to having made the prank call, together with two of her colleagues.

Vella stated that whilst at work with the other two accused, the women had decided to make the hoax call “after playing a game which featured explosion sound effects.” Vella’s mobile phone was used.

Lawyers Angie Muscat and Franco Debono were defence counsel to Sandra Ellul. Lawyer Arthur Azzopardi and Paul Lia represented Christine Spiteri and Tiziana Vella, respectively.

Inspector Priscilla Caruana Lee prosecuted.