A man who caused the evacuation of a secondary school and caused a major NHS incident to be declared due to bomb hoaxes has been jailed.

Rodney Stuart Peasley, of Radnor Road in Scorrier, appeared before Truro Crown Court this morning (Friday) to be sentenced.

It is after the 66-year-old pleaded guilty to four counts of criminal damage between October and November last year, as well as making three bomb hoax threats on November 19.

The court heard that Richard Lander School in Truro had to be evacuated after Peasley first left an answerphone message and then spoke to a school receptionist, to suggest that there were explosive devices within the school.

It was heard that the school had been due to give Covid vaccinations to students.

He then went on to call Kernow Health in Truro, which was responsible for the administration of Covid vaccinations in the area.

Peasley claimed that there were multiple bomb devices planted on service vehicles, which would detonate randomly over the following hour.

This call was also taken seriously, leading to a number of NHS venues being locked down, and a major incident declared by police and the NHS.

Peasley was tracked down by police through his mobile phone number and arrested.

The court heard that in addition to the bomb threats, Peasely had also been captured on CCTV damaging a marquee at Mount Hawke Surgery that was being used for Covid vaccination clinics. This happened on four separate occasions between October and November 2021, causing total damage worth £16,000.

He slashed sections of the marquee, sprayed graffiti, set off a smoke pellet and also spray painted CCTV cameras.

Rodney Peasley was sentenced to 21 months in prison Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police

Rodney Peasley was sentenced to 21 months in prison Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police

Robin Smith, defending Peasley, said that the defendant wanted to make clear that, contrary to some reports, he was not an 'anti-vaxxer' and had in fact, since the 1980s, been concerned with the safeguarding of young people.

"He's not an anti-vaxxer per se. What he is against is the unilateral, uninformed, mass vaccination of young people, without them and their parents being given information," said Mr Smith.

He said that a few days after the bomb threats, Peasley had written to both the school and Kernow Health apologising for his actions.

"This is a man who genuinely and sincerely cares about the safety and wellbeing of young people," said Mr Smith.

Sentencing Peasley, Judge Garnham said: "It is clear to me that [the criminal damage] was part of a co-ordinated attack on premises involved in the vital work of providing Covid vaccinations to the people of Cornwall.

"Bomb threats are a pernicious type of offence. They cause ordinary people going about their ordinary, lawful activities to be put in fear for their lives.

"Here it is all the more serious because it involved a school and those in the provision of health care."

However, he noted Peasley's "genuine remorse" and his early guilty pleas, which reduced his sentence.

Peasley was sent to prison for 20 months for each bomb hoax, to run concurrently [at the same time], with a further one month for each criminal damage offence, again to run concurrently to each other but in in addition to the first sentence.

This made a total of 21 months in prison, half of which will be spent behind bars and the remainder on licence.