London Stanstead bomb hoax

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Posted: Friday the 2nd September 2005 at 17:05

London Stanstead bomb hoax

No link (article published in a London based TNT magazine) so full text below:

A Sydney woman running late for a flight at a London airport triggered a bomb hoax and caused three aircraft to be delayed, a court has been told.

Angela Sceats, 19, says she was joking when she asked her friend to warn police there was a bomb on the Dublin flight she was trying to catch at Stansted Airport last November.

Her text message to Angela Forster, another Australian living in London, allegedly ran: "Can you call the police? There is a bomb on board. The flight is 8.10. Leaving from Stansted. Going to Dublin. The number is 999. Do it now."

Chelmsford Crown Court heard a tape recording of the 999 call made by Ms Forster: "I just got a message from my friend who is meant to be boarding the 8.10am flight from London to Dublin.

"She has just messaged me to say I have got to call the police. There is a bomb on board …

"I am not sure of the whole situation."

Ms Forster gave police Sceats's name and description and read out the text message she was allegedly sent.

The prosecutor, Noel Casey, said that on receiving Sceats's message, Ms Forster had written back asking if she was serious. Another text came back: "Absolutely. Hurry up. Do it from the payphone outside. Put on an accent. Tell them there is a man with a gun to your head telling you to make the phone call."

Police halted three flights and arrested Sceats at the airport.

The court was told that, when questioned by police at Stansted, she had said: "It has all been a bit of a misunderstanding. I was running late for my flight. I knew I would not make it." She added: "I told her [Ms Forster] to get them to hold the plane up. Tell them there is a bomb on board. It's all just been a joke."

Police had considered closing the airport but after an officer spoke to Sceats he decided there was no bomb threat and allowed flights to leave as normal.

Sceats, who has pleaded not guilty, denies communicating false information with intent.

She says she told police she had been joking and that her friend had misunderstood.

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