A man who was late for his flight from Gatwick Airport attempted to delay the plane by faking a bomb scare.
Jacob Meir Abdellak, 47, rang up the police to report the threat of a bomb just eight minutes before his Norwegian flight to Los Angles, US was due to depart on 11 May.
As a result of his actions, a full re-screening was required, delaying take off by 90 minutes.
However, while Abdellak was successful in his ploy to delay the plane, he still wasn’t allowed to board the aircraft.
Airline staff denied his entry and told him he would need to return on another day to rearrange his flight, whereupon he became abusive towards the workers.
Abdellak was later tracked down when the telephone number used to make the call was linked to the same number of his Norwegian booking.
The man tried to board another flight to the USA on 22 May – and was arrested at Gatwick airport.
He was charged with communicating false information regarding a noxious substance likely to create serious risk to human health.
However, he denied the offence throughout, revealed a statement from Sussex Police.
Abdellak, a French national, admitted the telephone number was his, but claimed he had lost the SIM card a few days earlier and therefore the call could not have been made by him.
He was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment and required to pay a £140 victim surcharge.
Gatwick Police Chief Inspector Marc Clothier said: “This was a quite ridiculous decision made by Abdellak, who fabricated an extremely serious allegation purely for his own benefit.
“He was running late for his flight and thought it would be a good idea to call in a hoax bomb, however, this turned out to be the worst decision he could have made.
“His actions caused the flight to be delayed, and also caused a level of fear and distress among a number of staff and passengers on board that flight.
“The consequences of making allegations about bombs, guns or similar at densely populated locations such as airports are well documented, and Abdellak’s sentence serves as a warning to others that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and offenders will be dealt with robustly.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Gatwick Airport and Norwegian for comment on the incident.
A video has recently emerged of a near accident between a plane and a van at US airport, Springfield-Branson National Airport in Missouri.
The footage captured the moment the jetliner narrowly avoided crashing into the van as the vehicle drove across the runway.
Surveillance footage from the US airport shows the black van motoring across just as the plane roared up the asphalt.
The vehicles miss each other by a matter of seconds, with the jetliner lifting off the ground metres from where the van just passed.
The driver, Jim Brown, has since revealed that the reason he took the extreme route across the airport was because he was late for an airport employee barbecue. No one was harmed in the incident.
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