A man who claimed to have a bomb and threatened to blow up his block of flats has been given an interim hospital order.

Leigham Sandison, 20, left carers at his supported accommodation block in Spode Close fearing for their lives in October last year when he claimed to have stashed a bomb in the bathroom.

Army bomb disposal experts had to be called to the North Swindon autism home and nearby streets were evacuated on October 15 after the hoax.

Sandison set fire to a kitchen in the flats, assaulted one of his social workers and threatened to kill her, and claimed to have set an IED on a timer. Staff at the home were said to have been so scared they barricaded themselves in a room.

The bomb threat led to those living in the streets around the sheltered flats in Spode Close being evacuated from their homes in the early hours of the morning.

In the wake of the incident Supt Adrian Burt said: “I know that the incident would have been concerning for all those involved, particularly those people who were woken by the emergency services and asked to leave their homes in the middle of the night. Although our actions were precautionary, we had to make sure nobody was put in harm’s way.”

Sandison has already pleaded guilty to arson, making a bomb hoax, assault and making threats to kill.

He was due to appear before Swindon Crown Court yesterday via video link from HMP Bullingdon to be sentenced.

But his defence solicitor, Rob Ross, asked for the case to be adjourned and his client be given an interim hospital order.

He said the psychiatrist who had recommended Sandison get the order could not be reached on the telephone and so was not available to be quizzed by the court yesterday afternoon.

Judge Peter Crabtree acceded to Mr Ross’ request and made the interim order. The defendant will be admitted to a secure hospital within 28 days and kept under observation by doctors, who will report back to the court in June on whether they think he should be given a full hospital order or jailed.

He told Sandison: “You’ve committed serious offences here, which you’ve pleaded guilty to. But there’s clearly treatment that you need to help you and in those circumstances in the first instance I’m going to make an interim hospital order.”

The case is due back before the crown court on June 24.