Two men appear in court charged with causing bomb hoax in a Northamptonshire town centre

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Two men have been accused of causing a full-scale evacuation of a Northamptonshire town centre after allegedly planting a suitcase with a wire hanging out of it outside a shop, a court heard.

Joshua Benson, aged 20, and Lee Venner, aged 34, appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court both on a bomb hoax charge relating to an incident in Daventry town centre on August 24, 2013.

The court heard the men allegedly placed a suitcase with a wire hanging out of it outside the It’s a Gift shop in the High Street shortly after midnight.

Vicki Walker, prosecuting, said a 999 call was then made which led to a large area of the town centre was cordoned off and a number of nearby properties were evacuated.

Ms Walker said a specialist bomb disposal unit from the RAF was also sent to the scene.

Benson, of Ericsson Close, Daventry, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Venner, of Bowen Square, Daventry, offered no plea.

Magistrates declined jurisdiction in the case. The case was sent to Northampton Crown Court. A hearing was listed for November 19.