Forgetful Bridegroom Jailed For Wedding Day Bomb Hoax

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 22 2013 10:19 AM

Forgetful Bridegroom Jailed For Wedding Day Bomb Hoax

A wedding reception at the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Hotel in Hollywood Beach, Florida.
A wedding reception at the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Hotel in Hollywood Beach, Florida.

File photo courtesy of Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Hotel/Flickr

Here's a story about a made-up story that you just can't make up, via the Associated Press:

A forgetful British bridegroom who made a hoax bomb threat rather than admit he'd neglected to book the venue for his wedding has been sentenced to a year in jail.
Neil McArdle called Liverpool's St. George's Hall from a phone booth on his scheduled wedding day in April, claiming a bomb was due to go off in 45 minutes. His fiancee, Amy Williams, was left standing in the street in her wedding gown while the building was evacuated.

According to the BBC's telling of the story, McArdle's would-be in-laws were almost instantly suspicious after the evacuation, with one of Williams' sisters apparently telling McArdle: "You probably done the bomb scare yourself." It didn't take police long to come to the same conclusion, and McArdle was arrested that same day, ultimately admitting to making the call in a misguided attempt to avoid having to fess up to his mistake.

Today, McArdle was sentenced to 12 months in jail after pleading guilty to communicating false information about a bomb hoax. The good news for the 36-year-old Brit: He and Williams, against all odds, are still together. No word on if they have a make-up wedding date. If they do, let's hope they put someone else in charge of locking in the venue reservations this time.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 



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