Man fined for lock­ing him­self in cock­pit

In­truder broke into jet at Heathrow

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Clemen­tine kather­ine.clemen­tine@trin­i­tymir­

A MAN who locked him­self into a Bri­tish Air­ways plane at Heathrow Air­port, spark­ing a ‘ter­ri­fy­ing’ se­cu­rity scare, has been handed a fine for the of­fence.

Luis Pe­dro Ver­dasca dos San­tos Costa, 38, of Stone­hill Road, Houn­slow, was charged on Satur­day March 5 with two counts: of un­law­fully be­ing air­side, and un­law­fully be­ing on an air­craft.

He en­tered a guilty plea at Uxbridge Mag­is­trates’ Court on Satur­day March 19, and was fined £100 for en­ter­ing the air­port ter­mi­nal.

He was also made to pay an ad­di­tional £100 and a £20 vic­tim sur­charge for board­ing the BA plane.

He orig­i­nally en­tered a not guilty plea at a hear­ing at Uxbridge Mag­is­trates’ Court on March 7 but, af­ter briefly go­ing miss­ing fol­low­ing this hear­ing, he changed it to guilty ahead of the sched­uled trial.

The se­cu­rity scare was sparked on Satur­day, March 5 when Costa slipped through the air­port’s perime­ter fence and boarded the empty BA 747 jet at BA En­gi­neer­ing Base at Hat­ton Cross, where the plane was parked.

He then bar­ri­caded him­self inside the bomb and bul­let-proof cock­pit, de­signed to pro­tect those fly­ing the plane from acts of ter­ror­ism dur­ing a flight.

A source, who asked to re­main anony­mous, told the Mir­ror On­line that it was a ‘ter­ri­fy­ing situation’.

The source said: “It was a very dif­fi­cult and com­plex situation and the fire brigade had to be called and car­ried out a long and very pro­tracted op­er­a­tion to get into the cock­pit. Even­tu­ally they man­aged to gain ac­cess to the cock­pit and police were able to storm in and ar­rested the in­truder.”

The source con­tin­ued: “It is a ter­ri­fy­ing situation when you think about it. Here is a man who not only has man­aged to go air-side at one of the world’s busiest air­ports but he has suc­cess­fully got to a Boe­ing 747 jet liner and found it open and was able to climb aboard.

“Then he has got onto the flight deck and bar­ri­caded him­self in us­ing the plane’s own anti-ter­ror­ist equip­ment.”

A Heathrow spokesman said: “Safety and se­cu­rity are al­ways our main pri­or­ity and we take in­ci­dents in­volv­ing ei­ther very se­ri­ously in­deed.

“In­di­vid­u­als il­le­gally en­ter­ing the air­side en­vi­ron­ment po­ten­tially en­dan­ger their own lives and those of oth­ers. We work closely with the police and keep se­cu­rity un­der con­stant re­view.”

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