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(SKY NEWS) – A man who was running late for his flight at Gatwick and made a hoax bomb call in an attempt to delay it has been jailed.
Jacob Meir Abdellak was supposed to catch a Norwegian flight to Los Angeles on 11 May.
The 47-year-old called the police to report the threat – making the call at 5.47am, just eight minutes before the flight was due to depart.
A full re-screening then took place, delaying take-off by 90 minutes.
Abdellak was denied boarding by airline staff and became abusive, before eventually being told to return on another date to rearrange his flight.
Officials subsequently ascertained that telephone number used to make the call was the same number linked to his booking.
Abdellak, a French librarian from Hackney, London, was arrested at Gatwick Airport on 22 May as he tried to board another flight to the US.
He was charged with communicating false information regarding a noxious substance likely to create serious risk to human health.
He originally denied the offence, saying that while the telephone number was his, he had lost the SIM card a few days earlier and therefore could not have made the call.
But he changed his mind and pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown Court in East Sussex on Tuesday.
Abdellak was sentenced to 10 months in prison and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.
Gatwick Police chief inspector Marc Clothier called the decision to make the call “quite ridiculous”, saying Abdellak “had fabricated an extremely serious allegation purely for his own benefit”.
“Abdellak’s sentence serves as a warning to others that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and offenders will be dealt with robustly,” he added.
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