Barrister made bomb hoax calls to Defence Secretary claiming London 2012 and the Queen were targets, court hears

Michael Shrimpton, 57, denies making two bomb hoaxes about the Olympics
Southwark Crown Court heard he telephoned MP Philip Hammond
He claimed bomb from a Russian submarine had been smuggled into Britain
Shrimpton said he had ‘credible’ information it could be used to blow up the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics and kill the Queen, the court heard

PUBLISHED: 19:47, 10 November 2014 | UPDATED: 20:46, 10 November 2014

A barrister made a hoax call to the former Defence Secretary claiming to have intelligence about terrorist bomb attacks on the London Olympics and the assassination of the Queen, a court heard.

Michael Shrimpton, 57, telephoned MP Philip Hammond to tell him that a bomb stolen from a sunken Russian submarine had been smuggled into the country and could be used to blow up the opening ceremony of the London Olympics and kill the Queen, a jury was told.

Southwark Crown Court heard how Shrimpton had said he had picked up information from ‘credible European sources’ that intelligence was being blocked by official channels about the terror threat and left a message for Mr Hammond, in which he dropped the names of several MPs.

He told police who arrested him the following day that hauling him in for questioning was ‘a colossal c**k-up worthy of an apology, damages and lunch on the MI5.’

Shrimpton, of Wendover, Buckinghamshire, who is representing himself, denies two counts of making bomb hoaxes relating to the London 2012 Games.

Opening the case prosecutor Alan Blake said: ‘This is a 57-year-old barrister with a fascination for politics the military and intelligence.

‘In April 2012, he passed on information about a threat of nuclear attack. That information was extraordinary and dramatic.’

Shrimpton called Mr Hammond’s office on April 19, 2012, and left a message warning that the nuclear weapon had been stolen from the sunken Russian submarine, the Kursk.

He said it had been smuggled into the UK and stored near a London hospital in preparation for the attack.

Mr Blake said: ‘You will remember the degree of tension about potential terrorists and it would have been brave and foolish to ignore threats, especially from a professional man.’

The court heard that Shrimpton, a self proclaimed intelligence expert on national security, also telephoned Sarah Sproat, of the Conservation Association in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, the following day and told her about the bomb threats.

Barry Burton, who was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Defence Secretary at the time, told the court he spoke to Shrimpton on the telephone on April 19, 2012.

‘He said he had concerns about threats to the London Games and to the Queen,’ said Mr Burton.

‘He said a mass nuclear weapon had entered the UK. He said four other weapons were removed from the submarine Kursk when it sank and he explained one had been obtained by the German terrorist organisation DVD.

‘He said one of the weapons caused the tsunami disaster in Japan.’

Mr Burton said Shrimpton spoke in a calm manner and told him he knew William Hague and former Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, but Mr Burton said he had not heard Mr Fox mention Shrimpton.

He told the court: ‘He said he was a lawyer with an involvement in national security and he was a Conservative.’

Mr Burton believed he was a hoax caller but told the Olympic Security Authority and the cabinet office.

Under cross-examination, Shrimpton told Mr Burton, who has worked for the Ministry of Defence for 36 years, that he had said there was a possibility a nuclear warhead had been smuggled into London.

Mr Burton replied: ‘What I heard from the caller was that a weapon had been moved to the UK.’

Shrimpton asked Mr Burton if an E3 plane is capable of carrying detectors which can pick up nuclear warheads but Mr Burton replied: ‘I don’t know.’

Shrimpton said: ‘Someone at the Cabinet Office grounded the E3’s’.’

Mr Burton replied: I don’t know.’

When Shrimpton asked Mr Burton if he accepted that a number of nuclear weapons had gone missing over recent years, Mr Burton replied: ‘I have no knowledge of that’ – prompting Judge McCreath to sharply reprimand him.

The judge said: ‘I have no idea where this is going. You have been a barrister for a number of years and you cannot use witnesses as part of your speeches. They are here to answer questions.

‘I will not have conspiracy theories bandied around the court unless they are genuinely real.

‘You must control yourself.

‘The guillotine is very close to your neck.’

Shrimpton was arrested on April 20, 2012 and told police he was an intelligence and national security specialist with hundreds of contacts.

He said the German Defence Service, DVD, was responsible for sabotaging the Kursk and stated the service now controls Al Qaeda and has penetrated MI5 and MI6.

Shrimpton refused to reveal his sources but said they included ‘someone in Munch who lunches with the Pope.’

He called his arrest a colossal c**k-up worthy of an apology, damages and lunch on the MI5, and claimed the weapon had been taken back out of the UK while he had been in custody by the Royal Navy, which moved it to Germany, and it could be used against New York.

Mr Blake said: ‘Mr Shrimpton communicated the threat using vocabulary and the persona of an intelligence insider at a time of national heightened tension. Despite his protestations, he knew or believed the information had no real foundations and was false and misleading.

‘Michael Shrimpton is an unrelenting networker desperate to associate himself with people with real power and influence.

‘His persona as an intelligence specialist is founded on flimsy foundations. He sought to above all bolster his credibility.’

Shrimpton, of Wendover, Buckinghamshire, denies two counts of making bomb hoaxes relating to the London 2012 Games.

The trial continues.

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