A barrister called a government minister to claim that a nuclear bomb was poised to blow up the Queen in a terrorist attack at the Olympics a court heard this week.
Michael Shrimpton, of Jusons Glebe, Wendover, called an agent at his local Conservative Association and allegedly told her he had heard reports of an “approach signed off by Putin” involving a warhead that could be aimed at the Queen.
The 57-year-old self-proclaimed intelligence and defence expert had called then-Defence Secretary MP Philip Hammond the previous day and told him the country was under threat of a nuclear attack from a weapon stolen from sunken Russian submarine the Kursk, the jury was told.
He said he had picked up information from “credible European sources” that intelligence was being blocked by official channels about the terror threat and left a message for Mr Hammond, in which he dropped the names of several MPs. He told police who arrested him the following day that hauling him in for questioning was “a colossal cock-up worthy of an apology, damages and lunch on the MI5.”
Southwark Crown Court heard yesterday that after the claims made on April 19, 2012, Shrimpton called Sarah Sproat, who worked for the Conservation Association in Aylesbury, Bucks, the following day at 1.28pm.
Miss Sproat told the court her notes, taken during the half-hour call, read: “Mini panic - nuclear device in East London from Russian subs.
“Arming from Moscow, think approach signed off by Putin. Reporting confirmed overnight, one of four weapons taken from Kursk, denied in 2000. Russian warhead, in direct contact with Kremlin.”
Miss Sproat said Shrimpton wanted the message passed on to MP David Lidington, the National Security Council and Andrew Lansley, then health minister, as well as William Hague.
She said that Shrimpton, a former patron of the association, told her the bomb could be hidden near a hospital, and said: “The radiation from the hospital might be hiding the radiation from the bomb, so he needed to contact Andrew Lansley.”
Miss Sproat added: “It sounded like it could be possible but then probably not. I then thought if the Queen was blown up and I didn’t pass it on I would be worried,” adding that the barrister gave her the impression “it could go off and was aimed at the Queen”.
Shrimpton, representing himself, said her notes could have been taken down wrong as they were not a verbatim record of what was said. He claimed he had said there was “reporting” of a threat, rather than him having the information.
He said his concern was the Olympic opening ceremony was a rare occasion when the Queen, along with Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry would be present at the same time. The court earlier heard that Shrimpton had claimed the German Defence Service, DVD, was responsible for sabotaging the Kursk and stated the service now controls Al Qaeda and had penetrated MI5 and MI6.
Shrimpton refused to reveal his sources to police but said they included “someone in Munich who lunches with the Pope.”
Judge Alistair McCreath warned Shrimpton about his behaviour while representing himself in court earlier in the case.
“I will not have conspiracy theories bandied around the court,” he said, following Shrimpton’s assertions that nuclear warheads had previously ‘gone missing’ in the UK.