An airline passenger has been jailed for causing a bomb scare on his own flight because he was running late and feared he would miss it.
Rashidul Islam, 32, called police 45 minutes before his easyJet flight to Marrakesh from Gatwick was due to take off after his train was cancelled and his taxi became stuck in traffic on May 4 last year.
His hoax call caused the flight to be evacuated and all 147 passengers had to be rechecked by security. This cost the airline an estimated £30,000 and resulted in a three-hour delay.
Yesterday he was sentenced to 16 months in jail at Lewes Crown Court after pleading guilty to communicating false information. He was also banned from Gatwick Airport.
A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesman said: "Islam anonymously called police 45 minutes before his easyJet booking from Gatwick was due to take off, warning: 'Someone may have a bomb on the plane, you need to delay the flight'.
"The hoax initially succeeded in giving Islam time to check in but he was arrested at the gate after police traced him as the anonymous caller."
Natalie Smith, of the CPS, said: "This should send a message that creating a bomb scare is no trivial matter."