Jail for airliner bomb scare man
A car worker whose "idiotic" behaviour triggered a bomb scare on an airliner heading to Britain from the Middle East has been handed a three-year prison term.
James Glen, 38, who was born in Ayr, was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court in Essex after admitting "communicating information about a bomb hoax" on an Etihad Airways flight - the national airline of the United Arab Emirates - heading from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow on January 24.
The airliner was redirected to Stansted after the alarm was raised and two military jets were scrambled to accompany it to the airport.
RAF Typhoons were called in to escort the plane, which was carrying 163 passengers and 15 crew, after Glen told a flight attendant that another passenger had a gun and had threatened to blow himself up.
The plane was flying on the day that 35 people - including British businessman Gordon Cousland - died in a suicide bomb attack at Moscow's busiest airport.
Glen had been living in Australia for 18 years and was returning to the UK to start a job as a panel beater and car sprayer in Chard, Somerset.
Duncan Penny, for Glen, said his client had a "reported" history of depression.
He said Glen, who began his journey in Melbourne, had "consumed alcohol" and taken an anti-histamine drug.
Mr Penny said Glen was on his first flight in 20 years, had expressed a fear of flying and was tired.
Mark Lakin, prosecuting, said flight attendants noticed that Glen, who had been living in Melbourne, had drunk a "couple" of whiskies and beer and were "concerned" about him.