White House Prank Caller Escapes Jail Time

A judge has handed a British teen a suspended prison sentence for phoning the White House and claiming there was a bomb in New York.

Nineteen-year old Thomas Hutchinson says the call was a drunken prank, but it sparked an international terrorism investigation.

The teenager from Sheffield in northern England admitted phoning the White House switchboard on May 10, 2008, and claiming there was a bomb in New York's Madison Square Garden.

Judge Tony Browne handed down a six-month suspended sentence at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday, telling Hutchinson his drunken "moment of madness" had had "very serious consequences."

He also ordered Hutchinson to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and pay 70 pounds ($115) in costs.