A man who falsely told police there was a bomb in his estranged wife's bag just before she was about to board a plane from London to New York was jailed for a year on Monday.

Kevin Flynn, from Bognor Regis, southeastern England, called police anonymously to tell them his wife was about to fly from either Heathrow or Gatwick airport in London, with a bomb in her bag, the Bognor Regis Observer reported.

Flynn's marriage to Kerensa Romara-Macmahan had broken down and she planned to fly home to the U.S. on July 31, Chichester Crown Court heard.

The 31-year-old made the anonymous hoax call from a public phone booth at Bognor Regis train station in a bid to stop and humiliate Romara-Macmahan, according to prosecutors.

Officers managed to trace Flynn as he had earlier called to report that Romara-Macmahan damaged photos and clothes at his home.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said, "Flynn was acting out of malice towards his wife who he knew was intending to fly to New York that day but he did not know which flight. So he made the call which resulted in urgent police inquiries at both airports but specifically at Heathrow as flights from Gatwick do not currently go to New York."

"In his call Flynn alleged that his wife had damaged property and stolen money that belonged to him in their flat, so when she was found boarding a British Airways flight at Heathrow, she had to be interviewed in order to establish the falsity of that statement too, although she subsequently caught a later flight," he added.

Police said Flynn, who pleaded guilty to making the hoax call, acted, "without care for any anxiety or disruption he might cause."