Hythe Imperial Hotel staff 'traumatised' by hoaxer

Hythe Imperial Hotel CCTV The man was wearing a gold earring, a beige raincoat and dark trousers

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A gunman who threatened a member of staff at a Kent seafront hotel and said there was a bomb on the premises left workers traumatised, police have said.

The man entered the Hythe Imperial Hotel just before 10:30 BST on Friday and asked to see the manager.

He produced a gun and demanded a large amount of money.

The hotel was evacuated, an Army bomb disposal squad was called and armed police searched the premises but no devices were found.

The hotel was declared safe at 18:00 BST.

Police have released CCTV images of the suspect, who is described as aged 55 to 70, 5ft 6in to 5ft 10 in tall, of medium build and tanned with grey receding hair.

He was wearing a gold hooped earring, a beige raincoat and dark trousers and was carrying a dark coloured bag.

"This was a harrowing incident for all concerned," said Det Insp Emma Banks.

"The actions of this man caused a great deal of disruption to the hotel and its guests."

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