Bomb threat at Victoria courthouse a hoax

Note posted on Esquimalt woman's Facebook account leads police to suspect

A bomb scare at the Victoria courthouse Tuesday afternoon was quickly downgraded to a hoax after police and provincial sheriffs searched the building.

Victoria police were alerted by staff at an undisclosed Victoria lawyer’s office at 2 p.m., after they read a chilling post on Facebook that said there was “a bomb at the courthouse and that people were ‘going to pay,’” said police spokesperson Const. Mike Russell.

The law office did not receive a death threat.

Police officers went in search of the female suspect, while other officers and B.C. Sheriffs focused their efforts on the courthouse, located at the corner of Blanshard Street and Burdett Avenue. The law courts were not evacuated.

“It was quickly determined that the threat was false,” Russell said.

Patricia Pelley, 46, of Esquimalt, was arrested the same day at her home in the 900-block of Shearwater St. She has been charged with two counts of uttering threats and one count of conveying a false message with intent to alarm.

emccracken@vicnews.com