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Man charged after Morrisons supermarket bomb hoax in Maidstone

Bomb hoax at Morrisons in Maidstone.

A man has appeared in court today in connection with a bomb hoax at a Maidstone supermarket.

David Williams, 48, of Knaves Acre, Headcorn, has been charged with blackmail following an incident at the Morrisons store in Sutton Road on December 10.

The supermarket had to be evacuated and closed for several hours after reports were received that an explosive device had been left in one of the aisles.

Williams, wearing faded blue jeans and a grey cardigan, spoke only to confirm his name and that he understood his bail conditions during a brief preliminary hearing at Maidstone Crown Court.

Neil Guest, defending, said Williams had discharged himself from hospital against medical advice to attend the hearing.

He had been admitted the previous day suffering from what were described as stabbing chest pains.

Prosecutor Gary Pons said Williams faced a single charge of blackmail and that forensic enquiries are ongoing.

Judge Philip Statman was told by Mr Guest that Williams intends to plead not guilty at his next hearing on March 28.

Bespectacled Williams was released on bail until that date.

His conditions include an electronically-tagged curfew between 6pm and 6am, reporting to police twice a week, not to go to the Morrisons store in Sutton Road and surrendering of his passport.

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