Dad calls in school bomb threat to 'spend time' with daughter

Gary Barnes
Gary Barnes leaving court (Rossendale Free Press)

A UK court has heard how a father made 'bizarre' hoax bomb threats to a primary school so he could spend more time with his daughter.

Whitworth man Gary Barnes has pleaded guilty for the threats he made in December 2016.

He had called police, saying devices had been left at Tonacliffe Primary School - where his daughter was a pupil, the Rossendale Free Press reports.

Nearly 400 students and staff were evacuated from the school. No explosives were found.

The 25-year-old dad made another hoax call four days later, as well as threatening staff saying he was coming to the school "armed with a gun" to pick up his daughter.

"The only motivation appears to be that his daughter attends the school and he wanted to spend more time with her," Barnes' lawyer said.

"He does have some history of depression and more recently has been seeking treatment. I don't think genuinely when he was doing it that he appreciated the seriousness and the consequences."

Head teacher Joanne Heap read a victim statement, saying they had "thoughts of Dunblane in their minds" - referring to the 1996 deadly school massacre in Scotland.