Man jailed for three years after making a bomb hoax on board a plane

Alan Patey has been jailed for three years for endangering an aircraft.

Alan Patey has been jailed for three years for endangering an aircraft. - Credit: Archant

A man has been jailed for three years for endangering an aircraft.

Alan Patey, 49, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to making a bomb hoax. It happened whilst he was on board a Sri Lankan Airlines A330 Airbus which was flying from Sri Lanka to Heathrow on Friday, September 20.

As a result of his threats, the aircraft had to be diverted to Stansted Airport, causing inconvenience and distress to the passengers on board.

Essex Police officers boarded the plane once it had landed and arrested Patey and another 57-year-old man who was later released without charge. The other passengers had to travel onwards to Heathrow by coach.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Werrett, Senior Investigating Officer from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This was a traumatic incident for the pilot, the crew and passengers on flight UL 503 from Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom.

“They not only had to be escorted from the plane for their own safety, but were naturally delayed in reaching their final destination. 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.

“The sentence today reflects the actions of Mr Patey and should act as a deterrent to others considering similar actions.”

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