A former soldier has been handed an 18-month suspended sentence after making a hoax bomb call to Staffordshire Police just hours after the London Bridge terror attacks.

Stan Boardman, 39, dialled 999 and told operators he had a bomb strapped to his back and "that was all they needed to know", the Stoke Sentinel reported on Thursday (12 October).

He made the call from a public telephone box in Newcastle shortly after midnight on 4 June, just hours after Islamist terrorists killed eight people by driving a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbing people in nearby Borough Market.

Boardman was arrested after his call was traced by police and officers studied CCTV from a nearby shop.

Prosecutor Howard Searle told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court: "Police were able to locate the call to a phone kiosk on Ironmarket. He said, 'I have got a bomb strapped to my back. That is all you need to know. I am in Newcastle.' The police took that seriously as the day before there was the London Bridge terrorist attack.

"Police viewed CCTV from a shop and were able to see the person who made the call. They were able to identify the defendant at 1.30am and he was still in the area carrying a rucksack. He did not have anything in his bag. The call was a hoax."

Boardman, of Victoria Avenue, Bignall End, pleaded guilty to communicating false information with intent.

Jason Holt, mitigating, said the incident was "resolved in just over an hour" and that the call had not caused a large deployment of resources.

He said Boardman served in the Army for four years but had since developed alcoholism and needed treatment.

Boardman was handed an 18-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months. He will also have to complete a 12-month alcohol treatment programme.

Recorder Julian Taylor told Boardman: "What you need to do is stop drinking alcohol because that is having a serious detriment on your life.

"This was a foolish thing to do but fortunately it did not seem to create too much alarm to the police or public."

The hoax call was traced to a public telephone box in Ironmarket, Newcastle Google Streetview