BA flight attendant jailed after making fake bomb threat for promotion
A British Airways flight attendant who made a hoax mid-air bomb threat has been jailed for six months.
Matthew Davis, 22, scrawled a message on a toilet door of the BA007 London to Tokyo flight in February, the BBC reported.
Davis left the note, which left his fellow crew members fearing for their lives. It read: 'The bomb on board will explode at 16.00 GMT unless our demands are met.'
Isleworth Crown Court heard how Davis hoped that appearing calm in the crisis would win him a promotion.
James O'Connell, prosecuting, told the court that the message was first seen by crew member Sarah Jane Spencer at 2.50pm UK time.
'She was carrying out her duties when the defendant, Mr Davis drew her attention.
'He said to her, I need you to read the back of this door,' he said.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Ms Spencer alerted the captain believing there was a bomb on the plane and constantly looked at her watch in panic.
It was the captain who noticed that Davis was behind the incident when he was asked to write a report of the incident and realised it was in the same handwriting as the message.
Davis was relieved of his duties for the remainder of the flight and when the plane arrived in Tokyo he was put on another aircraft as a passenger and sent back to London, where he was arrested on landing.
There were around 150 passengers on board the Boeing 777 which was cruising at 35,000ft.
Davis, of Crawley, West Sussex, pleaded guilty to communicating false information with intent at Isleworth Court on 10 May.
The court heard that Davis had 'no intention of causing mass panic or terror to passengers'.
He thought telling the captain about the note and then 'be shown to be calm in a crisis to gain some credit from his employer'.
Davis's lawyer said he 'did not have the intention for any passengers on the plane to see this note'.
When sentencing him, Judge Anna Guggenheim QC said: 'The scale of the harm that you were contemplating inflicting on other people was so great that having regard to the public interest and to deter people from carrying out similar offences, only a custodial sentence is a proper and just outcome in this case for such reckless behaviour.
'Your thinking was on that day quite distorted. You are not an unkind or wicked person.'
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