It was an impressive place to have a wedding.
In April of 2013, Neil McArdle and his love were going to get married in a beautiful ceremony at a neoclassical building, St. George’s Hall in Liverpool, England.
Yet there was a problem.
A very big problem.
It seems that one of Mr. McArdle’s wedding responsibilities was to book St. George’s Hall.
On the day of the wedding, he discovered something which I imagine made him swoon, and not in a light-headed way typical of wedding-day jitters.
He discovered he’d never sent the form to book the impressive place to have the wedding.
They had no spot for the wedding to take place.
This was not good.
He knew he had to tell Amy Williams, his bride-to-be, that he’d messed up. Badly messed up.
Yet when he saw her in her wedding dress, and saw how amazing she looked, he couldn’t tell her.
That’s when he made his one big problem into two big problems.
At 9:00 in the morning, he left his home, found a pay phone and made a call to police. Using a disguised voice, he said:
"This is not a hoax call. There’s a bomb in St. George’s Hall and it will go off in 45 minutes."
Never mind that a call like that is inadvisable even in the best of circumstances, but this was 11 days after the bombing at the Boston Marathon, and authorities were already on high alert and taking no chances.
Now, after his first call, Mr. McArdle may have realized the gravity of the situation, and he did call St. George’s Hall on his cell phone to try and cancel his hoax.
But it was too late.
Police, firefighters… the building was completely evacuated.
Yet Mr. McArdle’s troubles were not over.
Because 45 minutes later, the building was cleared and reopened.
Which was enough time for the wedding to take place, if they actually had a place for the wedding to take place.
The news reports I’ve read do not say when Mr. McArdle finally told his wife, but at one point someone, seeing the wedding party standing outside the building, did overhear Mr. McArdle having a "heated conversation" with his future sister-in-law, who told him:
"You probably done the bomb scare yourself!"
At 4:00 p.m. that day, Mr. McArdle was arrested. Police had traced the second call he had made on his cell phone.
The remorseful 36-year-old was sentenced to one year in prison.
The only bright spot? His fiance is standing by him.
His lawyer said it best:
"If any individual should abandon him, has been humiliated by him, the fact that she stands with him speaks volumes for her and I hope volumes for him."
I imagine it may be quite some time before his fiance’s family feels the same.
Forgetful groom Neil McArdle who made hoax bomb threat to register office is jailed, The Independent, UK>>