A hoax caller from Buckinghamshire who claimed a nuclear warhead would be detonated at the opening of the London Olympic Games has been jailed.

Barrister Michael Shrimpton, from Wendover, was labelled an “intelligence nuisance” after phoning to warn officials of an “attack” on the Capital, and he suggested information could not be passed onto the secret services because of a German infiltration.

The 57-year-old, who lives in Jusons Glebe, has now been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment after being found guilty at Southwark Crown Court in November over two counts of communication of false information.

The prosecution described the claims by Shrimpton – who was representing himself – as “outlandish and fanciful” during a period when national tension was heightened.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service said: “During the hoaxes Michael Shrimpton passed extraordinary and dramatic information about a threatened nuclear attack on the Games to senior authority figures.

“Although the information passed was outlandish and fanciful, there was a great deal of national tension in the months preceding the Games and it would have been foolish to reject or ignore the threats, especially when made by a professional man.

“Shrimpton is a barrister with a fascination for politics, the military and intelligence.

“The bomb hoaxes were not so much an attempt to cause disruption, but a mechanism to gild his self-constructed reputation as an intelligence expert.

“However, the imparting of such false information had the potential to cause enormous disruption, diversion of scarce resources, and wasted public money.”

On April 19, 2012, in the lead up to the Games, Shrimpton contacted the office of the Defence Secretary claiming a nuclear warhead had been placed in London, possibly near to a hospital, and it would be detonated at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

He claimed that intelligence had been blocked from being passed through official channels because the Germans had infiltrated MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

The call was suspected to be a hoax, but had to be passed to the Olympic Security Team and the police due to the nature of the threat, police have said.

Shrimpton then repeated the claim the following day by calling the Aylesbury Conservative Association.

The court heard Shrimpton had come to the attention of various police forces in the years following the London terror attacks of July 2005.

Senior investigating officer, detective sergeant Andrew Mottau, from the South East Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “The nature of such a claim had to be taken very seriously, despite it transpiring to be a hoax.

“This incident could have caused enormous disruption at a time of heightened tension and resulted in the diversion of valuable resources.”

He added that the sentence would hopefully serve as a reminder to people that wasting police time is a serious offence.

On handing down the sentence HHJ Judge McCreath reportedly said: “This is a case that cries out for immediate custody, it is impossible for me to suspend the sentence in this case, however I am prepared to take a merciful approach.”