Essex

Man jailed for Sri Lankan Airlines Stansted bomb hoax

Alan Patey Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Alan Patey admitted endangering an aircraft

A man who made a bomb threat while on a plane has been jailed for three years.

The Sri Lankan Airlines plane, carrying 267 passengers and crew, was flying from Colombo to Heathrow but had to make an emergency landing at Stansted.

Alan Patey, 49, admitted a charge of endangering an aircraft.

Speaking after the sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court, Det Ch Insp Simon Werrett said: "This was a traumatic incident for the pilot, the crew and passengers."

Essex Police officers boarded the Airbus A330 on 20 September once it had landed and arrested Patey, who was said to have claimed "something" was on board the flight in the luggage hold.

The other passengers had to travel on to Heathrow by coach.

Mr Werrett said: "The courage of the pilot and his crew should be highlighted in the calm professional way they dealt with the situation, believing there was a device on board."

He said he hoped the jail sentence would "act as a deterrent to others considering similar actions".

Image caption The Sri Lankan Airlines Airbus A330 diverted into Stansted

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