The Straits Times
Published on Nov 20, 2012

Aussie fake-bomb plotter sentenced to 13 years


SYDNEY (AP) - An Australian investment banker who admitted chaining a fake bomb to a Sydney teenager as part of a bizarre extortion plot was sentenced to 13 years and six months jail on Tuesday.

Ms Madeleine Pulver, then 18, was studying at home alone in her family's mansion in August 2011 when Paul Douglas Peters, 52, walked in wearing a rainbow-striped ski mask and carrying a baseball bat. He tethered a bomb-like device to her neck along with a ransom note and then slipped away, leaving the panicked teen alone. It took a bomb squad 10 hours to remove the device, which contained no explosives.

At the sentencing, Judge Peter Zahra said Peters intended to put the fear into the young victim that she would be killed. "The terror instilled can only be described as unimaginable," the judge said.

Ms Pulver hugged relatives after the sentence was read. Her father, Mr Bill Pulver, wiped away tears.