Neil McArdle and his fiancee, Amy Williams had been planning to get married. Nothing elaborate, just a city hall ceremony with a few family members to witness the event.
The couple lived together, but getting married was still a big thing, especially for Amy. Neil later commented, that in the days and weeks leading up to the big day she talked about nothing else. She was so excited about getting married.So, with the constant daily reminders, watching Amy as she prepared and planned their big day, it boggles the mind that when the big day finally arrived Neil slapped his forehead and suddenly remembered he had forgotten to fill out paperwork at St George’s Hall that was required before the wedding could take place. Just a technicality, but a necessary one, for sure.
How could Neil face Amy and tell her the wedding would have to be postponed because he forgot a small, but crucial, detail. The day of the planned wedding, he tried to muster the courage to tell Amy, but she had gotten up at 4am and put on her wedding gown.
“She looked amazing.” Neil later recalled. He just could not get out the words to tell her that the wedding would have to be delayed.
Not surprisingly, Neil panicked. If he admitted to being so forgetful, Amy would cry, get angry, maybe throw something at him. He’d never live it down. He needed to find a way to postpone the wedding without implicating himself and his forgetfulness.
Lots of crazy ideas entered his mind. But the one that made the most sense, in Neil’s panicked condition, was inspired by the recent bombing that happened only 11 days earlier at the Boston Marathon. He concocted a plan. On the morning of the wedding, he called St. George’s Hall from a payphone near his house and told the receptionist, “There’s a bomb in St George’s Hall and it will go off in 45 minutes.”
St. George’s Hall was evacuated and searched by the bomb squad. Nothing was found and it was deemed a hoax. After the building was checked, the staff tried to help Neil and Amy to go on with their ceremony, but it was discovered that no booking for the wedding had been made.
McArdle’s soon-to-be in-laws were becoming suspicious and the bride’s sister was overheard telling a flustered McArdle: “You probably done the bomb scare yourself.”
Police quickly traced the call and he was arrested the same day. He sheepishly admitted to his “embarrassment and shame.” He explained that he had panicked over bungling the forms and staged the bomb scare.
“It was just a ridiculous thing I did,” McArdle told the Daily Mail. “It might be funny to other people, but not to me. It’s wrecking my family’s life. I’m still together with Amy, but she’s got high blood pressure and wants nothing to do with a wedding right now,”
McArdle pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months in jail.
This incident occurred in October, 2013, so Neil has completed his jail sentence. But, now, he has to deal with Amy. This is one fairy tale that has not ended “happily ever after.”