Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Man receives yearlong jail term for calling in bomb threat to his own wedding

Henpecked, married couple conflict

Inara Prusakova/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Men do the darndest things to postpone getting married, don't they?

Most often a bridegroom will shake off the cold feet by their wedding day, but even then some men can't stop dreaming up new ways to avoid getting hitched. In fact one British gent now has a whole year to think about it.

The BBC reports that would-be husband Neil McArdle has received a 12-month prison stretch for making a hoax bomb threat to his own wedding venue after realizing he forgot to confirm his booking.

Story continues below advertisement

As the story goes, the 36-year-old bachelor only realized his mistake one day before he was set to walk down the aisle with his betrothed, Amy Williams, at St. George's Hall in their hometown of Liverpool.

Rather than face the music, or fake his death, McArdle decided to phone the Liverpool police. Disguising his voice, McArdle told the operator, "This is not a hoax call. There's a bomb in St. George's Hall and it will go off in 45 minutes."

The bomb-threat, which came 11 days after the Boston Marathon bombing in the U.S., prompted a quick response. The hall was immediately evacuated and emergency services showed up en masse.

Miss Williams, meanwhile, was left standing outside the hall in her wedding dress along with her mother and the rest of the wedding party.

In court, McArdle told the judge that he was unable to face Miss Williams, "the love of his life," to tell her he forgot to book the hall. McArdle also said the wedding "was all she talked about."

And once the police found no bomb, it was pretty obvious who had made the call, especially to the jilted bride's family.

According to court documents, Williams' sister pointed the finger straight at McArdle at the botched wedding, telling him, "You probably done the bomb scare yourself."

Story continues below advertisement

Not surprisingly, police traced the phone call and McArdle was arrested the same day. He later plead guilty to communicating false information regarding a bomb hoax, for which he received the one-year sentence.

During the trial, even the presiding barrister, Charles Lander, had to admit: "If it wasn't so serious the facts of this case have all the markings of a comedy."

But the real punchline of this comedy: McArdle and Williams are, against all probable odds, still together.

No word if they're still planning to wed, but if they do, you can guess who'll be in charge of booking the hall the second time around.

Report an error Licensing Options

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨