AIR­PORT DEATH MYS­TERY

Dot­ing dad dies in Turk­ish ter­mi­nal build­ing af­ter be­ing es­corted from flight home

The Chronicle - - Front Page - By SO­PHIE DOUGHTY Crime Re­porter so­phie.doughty@ncj­me­dia.co.uk @So­phie_Doughty

TRAGIC dad An­drew West­lake died in a Turk­ish air­port ter­mi­nal af­ter be­ing or­dered off his flight, it has been re­vealed.

One of the last peo­ple to speak to the 30-year-old be­fore his death has told The Chronicle of his sad­ness.

Perry Shel­don, who chat­ted with An­drew in the queue at Dala­man Air­port as they both waited to board a plane to New­cas­tle, said An­drew had been wor­ried he would not be al­lowed to travel home.

The 27-year-old has told how he watched air­port staff es­cort An­drew, from An­n­field Plain, County Durham, off the plane af­ter he had taken his seat.

Tour op­er­a­tor Jet2 has now con­firmed that An­drew died in the ter­mi­nal build­ing soon af­ter. And Perry, from Dud­ley, near Cram­ling­ton, has now told of An­drew’s fi­nal mo­ments. He said: “He said all he wanted to do was get home. He seemed a bit ner­vous but he wasn’t in any way ag­gres­sive, he didn’t seem like a threat to any­one. “He seemed like a lovely lad.” Perry had been on hol­i­day with his fi­ancee and her fam­ily. He met An­drew when they were both queu­ing to get through new en­hanced search sys­tems at Dala­man.

Perry says An­drew, who had been on a fam­ily hol­i­day with his girl­friend and baby daugh­ter, ex­plained he had been try­ing to get home for sev­eral days.

“He was lit­er­ally stood next to me the whole time be­fore we boarded the plane,” said Perry. “He was say­ing he had been ar­rested for putting sun­cream on blis­ters on his feet. He had been try­ing to ex­plain that to the author­i­ties at the air­port. He just seemed very wor­ried that he wasn’t go­ing to get home.”

An­drew was al­lowed to board the plane and take his seat. But Perry says he later saw staff es­cort him off.

“They al­lowed him on the plane, they sat him in his seat, but then about 10 min­utes later the staff came on the plane and men­tioned some­thing to the cabin crew and then they took him off,” said Perry.

“I don’t re­ally un­der­stand what was go­ing on, but at no point did he seem ag­gres­sive.

“They asked him to leave and he just walked off. Noth­ing hap­pened on the plane.”

Perry learned An­drew had died soon af­ter when he read re­ports and saw An­drew’s pic­ture. He said: “When I saw the story and his pic­ture, I was just so shocked. Some­thing must have hap­pened in the air­port. In my opin­ion they did seem like they were sin­gling him out be­cause of what hap­pened pre­vi­ously.”

Perry said the in­ci­dent had made him wor­ried about trav­el­ling. “It does put a real downer on the trip,” he said. “We had a fan­tas­tic hol­i­day, but when we were get­ting searched at the air­port, none of the staff spoke English. It does make you worry.

“I do feel uneasy to think that if they did this to a man who was be­ing so un­ag­gres­sive, it could hap­pen to any­one. He just wanted to get to his fam­ily. It’s just hor­ri­ble to think that some­thing like this has hap­pened.”

An­drew grew up in An­n­field Plain with his four sib­lings and mum June. He had some prob­lems dur­ing his younger years, but is said to have turned his life around fol­low­ing the birth of his daugh­ter around a year ago.

His fam­ily say they are still in the dark over how he died.

An­drew’s aunt, Pauline But­ler, 67, said: “We re­ally don’t know what to think. His mum is ab­so­lutely devastated. They were very close. He doted on his daugh­ter.

“It was their first fam­ily hol­i­day to­gether. He re­ally set­tled down since she was born. He was a re­ally dot­ing dad. He ab­so­lutely idolised his lit­tle girl. “He would do any­thing for her.” A Jet2 spokes­woman said: “We un­der­stand that a cus­tomer sadly passed away on Tues­day morn­ing, fol­low­ing an in­ci­dent in­side the ter­mi­nal build­ing at Dala­man Air­port.

“Con­trary to some re­ports, we can con­firm that the cus­tomer was not in­jured on our air­craft or in the vicin­ity of our air­craft.

“As in­ves­ti­ga­tions are on­go­ing it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate for us to com­ment any fur­ther, how­ever we would like to ex­tend our sin­cere con­do­lences to the cus­tomer’s fam­ily and friends at this very sad time.”

Perry Shel­don, who chat­ted to An­drew West­lake at Dala­man Air­port in Turkey, be­fore the dad’s tragic death

An­drew West­lake from An­n­field Plain who died in Turkey

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