Man jailed over plane bomb 'joke'

A BUSINESSMAN who sparked a major security alert and cost an airline £25,000 by joking that he had a bomb on board a plane was jailed yesterday for two months.

Armed police officers, a negotiation team and other emergency services were called to Inverness Airport after Peter Aldred told a stewardess on the EasyJet plane he had a bomb in a carrier bag. All 124 passengers on the flight bound for Luton were evacuated, but when Aldred's bag was searched it contained only two furry Loch Ness monster toys and some sweets.

In a previous court appearance, Aldred, 41, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, admitted stating he had a bomb. In court yesterday, Sheriff Alastair MacFadyen told the father of one his "irresponsible and reckless conduct" had placed him in a grave situation and a jail term was the only appropriate action.

Procurator-fiscal depute, Ross Mackay said the incident had cost EasyJet a total of 25,000 as some passengers missed connecting flights and had to be put up for the night in London.