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Nurseries across the West Midlands went into emergency mode after being threatened with guns by a woman who said she’d be arriving to kill all the children and staff.
Staff at nine nurseries and schools grew terrified on 15 March after receiving a hoax call from a woman threatening to kill them.
Sarah Ginn, owner of ABC Nursery in Coventry, told the Coventry Telegraph: “We had a call from someone who said they had knives and guns and they were coming in to kill us all.
“Our finance officer took the call and the person said ‘We are coming to the nursery with guns and knives and I'm going to kill everybody, the children and the staff'.
“We immediately organised an internal evacuation, we called all the children inside and kept them away from the windows and the conservatory."
Many nurseries then faced an agonising four-hour wait for the police to arrive.
Ms Ginn said: “We called the police but they took four hours to arrive because we were told they did not consider it a genuine emergency.
“Some dads would not leave us until the police came.”
As well as Coventry, nurseries in Oldbury, Birmingham, Rowley Regis, Sutton Coldfield and Dudley were targeted. West Midlands Police said it had received numerous calls from nurseries about similar threats that morning and arrested a 22-year-old woman for the hoax calls the same day.
Rebecca Cooper, of Parkhill Street, Dixons Green, Dudley, was charged with and admitted eight counts of malicious communications and a further charge of racially aggravated behaviour towards a police officer.
A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said: "She was arrested shortly after the calls were reported to police and remanded in custody overnight."
Rebecca Cooper was spared jail and given a 24-week prison sentence suspended for two years at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 17 March. She was fined £115 and ordered to pay £50 court costs.
The nurseries and schools targeted were:
• ABC Nursery in Coventry
• Fairytale Day Nursery in Dudley
• Sunrise Day Nursery in Sutton Coldfield
• Cypress Nursery in Rowley Regis
• Roundhouse Day Nursery in Birmingham
• Unicorn Day Nursery in Oldbury
• Bluebell Day Nursery in Oldbury
• Brandhall Tots & Nursery in Oldbury
• Pattison School in Coventry