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Jury clears Tottenham man of bomb hoax at National Gallery

17:15 18 September 2012

Joey Owen outside court. Picture: Ed Wilcox/Central News

Joey Owen outside court. Picture: Ed Wilcox/Central News

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A man has been cleared of deliberately sparking a bomb scare after claiming he accidentally left a box with a flashing red light at the National Gallery.

Joey Owen, 21, said the bizarre device - made of a circuit board, battery pack, and wires - was his homemade mobile phone charger.

It was discovered stuffed into the corner of a sofa in the famous gallery in Trafalgar Square on October 12 last year, as it was packed with tourists.

A jury took just 19 minutes to acquit Mr Owen of staging a bomb hoax following a two-day trial at Southwark Crown Court.

He claimed he dropped the device, which included an infrared receiver and batteries attached to a small circuit board, by accident.

An electronics expert concluded it could not be used to charge phones.

Owen, of Willoughby Mews, off Willoughby Lane, Tottenham, denied intending to induce others to believe in the presence of a bomb or explosive.

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