Gatwick: Student Admits Hoax

A student who caused chaos to air passengers' travel plans by claiming an explosive was on a Turkish-bound flight is now behind bars.

Muhammet Demir, 20, called police saying a bomb was on an easyJet flight due to fly from Gatwick Airport to Turkey just before 4.30pm on September 9.

At that time the only easyJet plane to the port city of Izmir in Turkey that day was taxiing on the runway with 170 passengers on board.

It had to be recalled to a remote stand where it was met by armed police at the West Sussex airport before being given the all-clear.

But the hoax led to the flight being delayed for three hours, Sussex Police said. An all-forces alert was sent to police country-wide about Demir.

He was eventually arrested as he tried to board a flight to Luton Airport. The Turkish national admitted what he had done but refused to divulge to police his reasons for making the hoax.

At Brighton Magistrates' Court on Saturday, he pleaded guilty to communicating a false message to cause a bomb hoax and was remanded in custody to be sentenced at a crown court on a date to be fixed, police said.

Detective Inspector Andy Richardson said: "Fortunately we were able to quickly identify that this was a hoax call but it still caused considerable worry for airport and airline staff and passengers.

"Anyone considering making malicious calls of this nature should think long and hard about the consequences. We investigate fully all claims and threats like this and will not rest until we find those responsible.

"Making hoax calls not only wastes the time and money of members of the public and the emergency services but also delays us from responding to genuine emergencies.

"Demir now knows that if you make a malicious call to say a bomb is on a plane then we will find you. We will arrest you, put you before the courts and you will go to prison.''