Australia police: Bomb hoaxer sought money, lawyer

AP News
Posted: Sep 07, 2011 8:42 AM
Australia police: Bomb hoaxer sought money, lawyer

A man who marched into a Sydney law office with his daughter and claimed he had a bomb demanded several thousand dollars and access to a lawyer during a 12-hour standoff with police, court documents revealed Wednesday.

The 52-year-old man was refused bail during a brief court hearing Wednesday and charged with a range of offenses. A police tactical team had forced its way into the law office and overpowered the man after negotiations began to crumble Tuesday night.

His 12-year-old daughter was released safely beforehand, and police said he carried no bomb.

The man's name was withheld for legal reasons. Police said he lived in Orange, 160 miles (260 kilometers) west of Sydney.

According to documents police filed in court, the man demanded 4,500 Australian dollars ($4,760) from an Aboriginal Land Council, access to a lawyer and wanted legal action taken against another man. Aboriginal Land Councils are advocacy groups for Aboriginal rights.

In the court papers, police said the man had a criminal record that includes firearms offenses. The documents did not explain what triggered his demands or what his goal was.

He was charged with giving false information of danger, detaining a person with intent to obtain advantage, remaining in a building with intent to commit an indictable offense, common assault and three counts of destroying or damaging property, a police statement said. Police said he broke a window and two vases during the standoff.

It was not clear what potential prison sentence he could face if convicted. The man did not appear in court for the hearing and the case was adjourned until Sept. 15.

The standoff came a month after an extortionist broke into a Sydney home and fastened a fake bomb around the neck of a millionaire's teenage daughter. A man arrested in the United States is awaiting extradition in that case.