A misguided choice of fun fancy dress left a man from Bath red-faced recently after the police and army were called in.

The unnamed reveller had decided to go to a Christmas party on December 21st 2010 dressed as a terrorist, the Bath Chronicle reports.

He had the bright idea of constructing a fake bomb from putty and an old alarm clock to go with his Taliban fancy dress, but the plan backfired when he misplaced the device on his way there.

A woman found it on the street and called the police at 13:00 GMT and it was so realistic that they took one look and called in the army bomb squad.

The road was closed for five-and-a-half hours before a robot revealed it was not a bomb after all.

Once the partygoer was traced, he was hauled in to the police station and given a good telling-off for time-wasting.

Chief superintendent Gary Davies said: "He was looking pale and gaunt when he was sitting in the police station trying to explain his thinking."

Given the festive time of year, perhaps it would have been better if the hapless man had gone dressed as Jesus or a wise man.