A man has been charged after allegedly flying from London to New York without a ticket or passport.
Craig Sturt passed through a series of security checkpoints and passport control without showing any documents at Heathrow Airport before boarding the British Airways flight before Christmas, according to The Sun.
But the 46-year-old was stopped on arrival at JFK airport and sent back to the UK, where he was arrested and charged with fraud and offences under the Aviation Security Act.
Sturt gained airside access at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and boarded the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner “without having paid for a ticket” according to the charges.
Court records show he admitted the offences at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, where he was due to be sentenced in January – but a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear.
Sturt was reported missing to Thames Valley Police on 25 January and the Met took over the case on 31 January and is now leading the investigation.
“On 24 December 2023, police were made aware of an alleged breach of security at Heathrow Airport and a male was subsequently arrested and later charged with fraud and Aviation Security Act offences,” the force said in a statement.
“We continue to work with all our partners to review and enhance the already robust security measures in place which are kept under constant review by the wider security partnership.”
The Met said Sturt was arrested at about 8pm on Christmas Day after arriving in the UK on a flight from New York and was charged with obtaining services by deception, being unlawfully airside and boarding an aircraft without permission.
A Heathrow spokesperson said: “All people who go airside are subject to security screening, including the individual involved in this case.
“We are supporting the authorities with their ongoing investigation.”
A BA spokesperson said: “We are assisting the authorities with their investigation.”