Ronald Fowles admits drunk aircraft bomb threat

Apr 04 2011

A man who was dragged off an aircraft after shouting "there is a bomb on this plane" has been given a four-month jail sentence at Southwark Crown Court.

Ronald Fowles, 59, of Edred Road, Dover, who admitted being drunk on an aircraft, had been due to fly to Dubai to smuggle cigarettes back to the UK.

He had been drinking heavily before he boarded the flight at Heathrow Airport in January 2010, the court heard.

He was not jailed as he had already served time in custody and on curfew.

The prosecution offered no evidence in relation to a second charge against Fowles of making a bomb threat.

'Terrified passengers'

Alexander McGinnis, 49, of Lowther Road, Dover, who had accompanied Fowles on his would-be smuggling mission, was acquitted of being drunk on the same aircraft after no evidence was offered against him.

The Old Bailey heard that Fowles, a former Army officer, had opted to "self-medicate" ahead of his flight with a bottle of vodka.

As he was removed from the by plane by armed police he shouted: "I'll kill you, I'll kill you."

He also informed passengers around him: "To blow up a plane all you need is two bags of sugar and some water."

More than 330 passengers had to leave the plane, which was held overnight while precautionary searches were made.

The incident, which happened as the plane was taxiing on the runway, is said to have cost the airline, Emirates, more than £40,000.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith told Fowles his "rambling must have terrified some of the other passengers."

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