Plane bomb hoax: Australian flight attendant jailed

An Australian flight attendant has been jailed for 18 months in England for leaving a bomb hoax note on a London-bound plane he was working on.

Matthew Carney, 23, of Melbourne, was arrested in March after the Emirates Boeing 777 flight he was on landed at Gatwick airport amid a major security scare about whether there was a bomb on board.

While no explosive devices were found, two notes referring to a bomb on the jumbo were discovered - one in a passenger toilet and another in Carney's luggage.

Carney pleaded guilty to making a hoax threat at Lewes Crown Court in southern England on Thursday. He denied a second charge of endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Handing down Carney's sentence, judge Richard Brown said the Australian had breached the trust of the plane's 164 passengers, its owner and his co-workers.

Carney's lawyer Andel Singh said he had been under great stress and was extremely tired while he was working on board the flight from Dubai.

"He apologises wholeheartedly and sincerely to all those individuals who were even the slightest bit inconvenienced," Singh said.

Fears about a bomb being on board the plane arose when Carney found wires hanging in an economy toilet cubicle during the flight to Gatwick.

He alerted senior staff who found the wires were not connected to any electrical devices and removed them before instructing cabin crew to monitor the cubicle for any suspicious activity.

A passenger later found a note warning that "explosive material can be found in the fwd (forward) cargo department" stuck inside another toilet cubicle that Carney had restocked with toilet paper.

The note added: "We have the Taliban to thank for this. It will activate."

The passenger alerted Carney and his supervisor, who passed the note to the captain so he could warn ground staff at Gatwick.

By the time the plane landed early on a Sunday morning, police, ambulance and fire crews were on alert and guided the aircraft to an isolated secure area.

The airport was closed for 15 minutes and all passengers and crew had their bags searched.

Investigators found another note in a pocket of a pair of shorts inside Carney's suitcase which read: "Cargo contains explosives."

AAP

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