In scheme to frame rival, UK Jewish mom may land jail time for synagogue bomb hoax

The messages were sent in attempt to frame the mother's apparent maternal nemesis, who claimed to be the victim of a lengthy harassment campaign.

October 17, 2016 09:31
2 minute read.
Hassidic Jews in the United Kingdom

Hassidic Jews in the United Kingdom. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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In a bizarre incident involving intimidation over a birthday invitation, a Jewish mother is facing sentencing Monday in a UK courtroom after being convicted of orchestrating a faux bomb scheme aimed at a synagogue in attempt to frame a rival mother.

Claire Mann, 48, was arrested by police in 2013 after it was discovered that she had sent threatening text messages to a local synagogue claiming there were explosives in a hotel where Israeli travelers were staying, according to The Jewish Chronicle.

The messages were sent in attempt to frame Mann's apparent maternal nemesis, Roz Page, who claimed to be the victim of a lengthy harassment campaign.

According to Page, the abuse was triggered after Mann's daughter failed to receive an invitation to a birthday party.

In July 2013, Elisheva Mason, the wife of the rabbi of Muswell Hill synagogue, received a bomb threat from an unidentified number, according to The Jewish Chronicle citing court documents.

During the proceedings, the prosecutor in the case, Ross Cohen, reiterated the texts in court: "The message reads...'there's a bomb in the Kinloss area hotels, where there are many Israelis staying. Please arrange evacuation."'

"She texted back, 'who's this?', and received a reply which read, 'don't question, act.'"

Mason subsequently contacted the proper authorities, according to Cohen, who "treated it as a real threat." 

"The investigating officer noted the guests' fear, despite the police having been satisfied after having searched the grounds that the call was, in fact, a hoax," he added.

"The number that had been used had also featured in an ongoing string of harassment allegations involving the defendant and Roz Page.

"Those allegations and counter-allegations started over an argument concerning their children."

Cohen stated that both women had been questioned by police, but added: "In reality, knowing what we now know, those messages were sent by Ms Mann to Ms Page, and by Ms Mann to herself."

According to The Jewish Chronicle, authorities were able to trace the origins of the messages back to an unregistered Tesco phone purchased by Mann, which was used in the bomb-scare.

"The texts had been sent via a cell mast extremely close to the home address of Claire Mann," Cohen stated in court. "That information led to Claire Mann being considered a suspect in the harassment of Roz Page," he added.

The following day, authorities raided the Mann family residence.

While searching the home, Mann "became terrified and repeated 'I did it, I did it, I did it. I have had enough. It's a prank that has gone wrong.'"

She was later prosecuted for making the bomb threat and convicted.  It remains unclear what punishment Mann faces during her sentencing hearing on Monday.

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