Man charged following bomb threats which closed 14 Tesco supermarkets in UK

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

This store in Hereford was one of those affected by the incident
Image: Eirian Evans.

Hertfordshire police have charged a man with four offences after 14 Tesco supermarkets in the United Kingdom were closed after the company received threats. Stores across the country were affected by the security alert earlier this month.

The man has been named as Philip McHugh, aged 51, from Clitheroe, Lancashire, in the north-west of England. He has been charged with two charges of blackmail and two of making bomb hoaxes, and was due to appear at Stevenage Magistrates' Court this morning.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Kitching from Hertfordshire police said, "Throughout the whole inquiry public safety was of paramount importance to both ourselves and Tesco. The successful charging of Philip McHugh has come about through the hard work and tenacity of officers and police staff not only from Hertfordshire but from other forces, and we thank them for their support."

Tesco's Retail and Logistics Director, David Potts commented on the investigation, saying, "Throughout this series of events, the safety of the public and our staff was always our top priority and we worked closely with the police to respond quickly and responsibly. These were of course worrying threats and I am pleased that an individual has been arrested and charged."

"I would like to thank Hertfordshire Constabulary and the other agencies involved for their efficient handling of this investigation. I would also like to thank our staff who acted so professionally during the security threats to reassure customers and get stores back open as soon as possible. The response from customers was fantastic. They were so understanding about the disruption and I am extremely grateful for their patience and continued loyalty," Mr Potts said.

Police are not looking for anyone else in connection to the incident.

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