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25 January 2011, 14:10
A man's admitted making a hoax bomb threat on a passenger airliner which was diverted to Stansted Airport under a fighter jet escort.
The flight, from Abu Dhabi, was redirected to the Essex terminal on Monday after the pilot reported a disruptive passenger.
James Glen, who was 'drunk', told a flight attendant that another passenger had a gun - and then 'threatened to blow himself up', prosecutor Vivienne Perry said.
Two RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to accompany the Etihad plane before it landed at Stansted just before midday - it was flying to Heathrow.
The flight, which had 163 passengers and 15 crew members on board, was delayed for four hours.
The court heard the diversion had a "considerable financial cost'', including charges incurred from the RAF escort, additional fuel and the cost to other passengers who missed connecting flights from Heathrow.
Ms Perry said: "The whole incident caused considerable problems for passengers and members of the air crew. When he was interviewed, he admitted he made up the whole story and said he does not know why he did.''
Glen, who was born in Ayr, Scotland, had been living in Australia for 18 years. He was returning to the UK to take up a job as a panel beater and car sprayer working on rally cars in Chard, Somerset, the court heard.
Paul Cammiss, mitigating, said Glen acted in a manner "alien to him'' due to the small amount of alcohol he had consumed which affected him more than usual due to the pressurised air in the cabin.
He said no other passenger knew of Glen's allegations apart from the one he had accused of carrying explosive material.
Glen, 37, will appear before Chelmsford Crown Court on March 10 when he is expected to be sentenced.