Prison shut down by alleged serial bomb hoaxer
A woman alleged to have targeted a hospital, two childcare centres and a prison with bomb hoaxes this year has had her bail denied after a mental health report found she has only mild intellectual disabilities.
Previously described at Cleveland Magistrates Court by a defence lawyer as having "significant intellectual disabilities" Angela Maree Welsh, 45, showed little concern when she learned she would spend Christmas behind bars.
Appearing at the court today the single Thornlands woman was deemed by Magistrate Deborah Vasta as too great a risk of continuing her alleged offending and causing "great inconvenience".
The court heard Welsh allegedly sent the Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre and its then 256 prisoners into lockdown for four hours on December 8.
In a note read to the court by Magistrate Vasta Welsh allegedly penned a letter stating: "Hello. You know there is a bomb in S5".
The court further heard the defendant allegedly targeted two Redlands childcare centres on September 23 and November 8 with handwritten notes claiming bomb threats.
And in February Welsh was alleged to have threatened the Princess Alexandra Hospital with a bomb threat.
All the alleged offending, the court was told, occurred while she was on bail.
Charged today with one count of bomb hoax the court heard Welsh had previously been imprisoned for 18 months for similar offending.
A police prosecutor said a recent mental health evaluation by psychologists found the defendant showed signs of "mild" intellectual disability.
This, together with her alleged ability to write coherent letters correctly addressed led the magistrate to believe Welsh "is playing the system a little bit".
"You seem to have done a pretty good job writing and posting to the prison another bomb threat," Magistrate Vasta alleged.
"I have seen the two handwritten letters to the childcare centres and on both occasions it is very clear writing, there is no misspelling and there is nothing in those letters that you have left that gives me any pause that you have any intellectual disabilities whatsoever".
The ruling came despite defence solicitor Rhys Foster stating his client was in need of around-the-clock supervision in the community, not time in jail.
MORE COURT NEWS:
Mr Foster acknowledged intellectual disability was no excuse for the alleged offending and informed the court Welsh was in the process of applying for more comprehensive home care supervision.
A claim by Mr Foster that the defendant had sought mental health assistance at hospital after her last alleged offending was refuted by the prosecution who told the court Welsh was instead admitted after swallowing batteries.
Remanded in custody Welsh is next scheduled to appear at a Brisbane court on January 22.
Originally published as Prison shut down by alleged serial bomb hoaxer