Shefford Lower School bomb hoaxer jailed after ‘campaign of terror’

Shefford Lower School. Picture: Alan Millard

Shefford Lower School. Picture: Alan Millard - Credit: Archant

A man who emailed a bomb hoax to Shefford Lower School as part of a “campaign of terror” against a young mum has today been jailed.

The woman had been subject to weeks of harassment from 31-year-old Scott Spraggs after she ended their one-month relationship.

Spraggs, of Vinters Avenue in Stevenage, was jailed for 17 months on Friday by a judge who has demanded to know why he was not charged with a more serious form of harassment.

Luton Crown Court heard Spraggs – who appeared by video link from Bedford prison – bombarded the woman with nasty emails and texts, made threats to her and her child, and sent men to her home who expected to have sex with her.

Prosecutor Neil King said Spraggs reacted “very poorly” when the Shefford woman ended the relationship. Starting in August last year, he sent her more than 250 missed calls.

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He sent abusive emails and texts, set up false dating accounts in her name and sent men who contacted the site around to her home for sex.

Spraggs also created an email account in the name of the woman’s recently-deceased grandfather, prefaced with the word ‘rotting’.

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The woman was so distressed she handed in her notice at work, but the company was supportive and she kept her job. She feared for her daughter’s safety and moved her out of her home.

In a victim impact statement read to the court by Mr King, she said: “The harassment nearly ruined my life. It made me live on edge constantly. I was in fear for my life and that of my young daughter. Strange men turned up at my home. I was so frightened and anxious.”

On December 7 last year, at 11.20am, Shefford Lower School received an email stating there was a bomb in the school.

The school called the police, and the 472 pupils and 60 staff were evacuated to the nearby Robert Bloomfield Academy. Parents were asked to collect their children.

The victim of the harassment said that as soon as she got the message from the school, she knew it had to be something to do with Spraggs – who was on bail.

He was arrested, and while in police custody urinated on a cell door.

Spraggs appeared for sentence today after pleading guilty to harassment, making a bomb hoax and criminal damage. He had only been charged with a lesser form of harassment, which carries a maximum sentence of six months.

Mr King said that in 2015 Spraggs had been given a suspended sentence for stalking a former girlfriend and putting her in fear of violence. He had egged her house, written graffiti, and sent her abusive calls and texts.

Paula Bignall, defending Spraggs, said he had “waged a campaign of terror” against the victim, who had done nothing to deserve it.

She said his behaviour stemmed from trauma in his childhood, saying he needed psychiatric supervision, and asked for a suspended sentence.

But Judge Nic Madge jailed him for 17 months, saying it was hard to imagine any behaviour more unpleasant or threatening that what happened to the victim.

He made a restraining order banning Spraggs from contacting the victim or her daughter – if he breaches the order he would face up to five years in jail.

The judge said: “I remain concerned the harassment was charged under section 2 and not the more serious section 4.

“I direct the district crown prosecutor to write to me to explain the charging decision within 14 days.”

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