A BOMB hoaxer who brought Swindon town centre to a standstill last December has been given a six month prison sentence.

Stephen Strange, 49, called 999 at 7.13pm on December 3, 2013, and told the operator he had left an explosive device inside the town centre store, where a private function was being held by Shrivenham’s Defence Academy.

A hearing at Swindon Magistrates’ Court last month revealed 350 personnel from the academy were promptly evacuated and the function cancelled, at a cost of £8,000 to £10,000.

Strange was sentenced to six months behind bars at Swindon Crown Court today.