Published on Monday, January 20, 2020

Man jailed and banned from Gatwick for making hoax bomb call

A passenger has been jailed for 16 months for making a hoax bomb call in order to delay an easyJet flight from Gatwick that he was due to travel on.

Rashidul Islam was due to fly from Gatwick  to Morocco to see his fiancee, but his train from Cricklewood unexpectedly terminated at St Pancras.

He took a taxi but ran into further transport difficulties when the traffic was so bad he would have minutes to get through security.

The 32-year-old then decided to call police 45 minutes before the flight was due to take off and told them a bomb might be on board.

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesman said: "Islam anonymously called police 45 minutes before his easyJet booking from Gatwick was due to take off, warning: 'Someone may have a bomb on the plane, you need to delay the flight'.

"The hoaxer made two further threats in the following minutes - causing crew on the 5.40pm flight to Marrakesh to be evacuated and all 147 passengers to be checked again by security.

"Luggage also had to be removed and re-screened, resulting in a three-hour delay at Britain's second busiest airport on a bank holiday weekend."

He was arrested at the airport gate by police who had tracked him as the caller.

The flight eventually took off at 8.50pm with a new cabin crew, as the original crew had exceeded their hours because of the delay.

Natalie Smith, of the CPS, said: "The consequences were so serious that flight crew had to be evacuated, passengers re-checked and luggage removed - at a cost of three extra hours on the runway and £30,000 to the airline."

He pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown Court to communicating false information and was also banned from Gatwick Airport.

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