Reunited - in court

Reunited - in court - 12th July 2006
(Credit: The Courier Mail)

The former lover of wannabe television host Charles Gant will today give evidence at his trial, in which he is accused of calling in a bomb hoax.

The hoax was allegedly made to stop Gant's then girlfriend from taking an overseas modelling job. Gant is on summary trial in the Brisbane Magistrate's Court facing six charges of using a carriage service to menace or harass.

Australian Federal Police agents charged the aspiring television host after phone calls were received by media and government agencies in September 2004.

Calls were made to the offices of Sky News, Channel 10, The Age newspaper in Melbourne, Media Monitors, Parliament House in Canberra and the Australian High Commission in Singapore.

Gant faces up to 12 months in jail if convicted.

The 43-year-old, who created the troubled reality TV concept Fantasy Island, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Prosecutors said the phone calls referred to terrorist bombings, and claimed Gant made them to prevent his then girlfriend, Jaime Wright, from embarking on a modelling assignment in Singapore.

They allege Gant tried to talk his lover out of travelling, then made the hoax calls so that she would think it was too dangerous.

Though they have since parted ways, the couple will come face to face when she gives evidence today.

The 26-year-old Sydney-based model, shoe designer and aspiring television presenter has travelled to Brisbane for the case.

Yesterday, witness Christina Quirk told how she had been working at the Australian High Commission in Singapore on September 15, 2004, when she received a threatening phone call.

She said the caller had referred to terrorist attacks in Singapore and Malaysia before she asked him to identify himself.

"Osama bin Laden – that's enough," he said before hanging up.

Ms Quirk said the caller sounded aggressive and she reported it to the deputy high commissioner. In the weeks leading up to the call, there had been a bombing at the Australian High Commission in Jakarta.

Ms Quirk said she did not really believe it was bin Laden on the phone, but was concerned because of recent events.

"We were all a bit shaken because we hadn't had a terrorist call before," she said.