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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 February, 2004, 12:40 GMT
Bomb joke student returns home
Samantha Marson
Samantha Marson returned home with her father.
A student, who joked she was carrying bombs in her bag as she prepared to board a flight in the United States, has returned home after agreeing to a plea bargain.

Samantha Marson arrived back at Heathrow Airport at 1035 GMT on Thursday on a flight from Miami, Florida.

The student was charged with making a false bomb report and could have faced up to 15 years for her comments, which sparked a security scare at Miami Airport.

Miss Marson's lawyer, Oscar Sanchez, said the 21-year-old had agreed to donate $1,000 (about 650) to a September 11 victims' fund and write a letter of apology.

Court order

Mr Sanchez said an order that she must return to court on Friday, to prove that she had met the terms of the order, was waived.

It is expected that the charges will be formally dropped in her absence on Friday.

Miss Marson was about to board a British Airways flight from Miami International to London on 17 January when she told an official at a baggage check point: "Hey be careful, I have three bombs in here."

Asked to repeat herself, she repeated the same statement twice and was arrested and charged.

The student, whose family is originally from Bridgnorth, Shropshire spent four nights in Miami Dade County Jail and, after being bailed, said she was "really very sorry" for her "foolish joke".

Miss Marson travelled back to the UK with her 74-year-old father Jim.

The BBC's Jeremy Cooke
"The Americans clearly take this sort of thing very seriously"

Bomb joke student spared jail
04 Feb 04  |  Shropshire
US 'bomb joke' student released
21 Jan 04  |  Shropshire
Teenager barred from flight
14 Mar 03  |  England
'Joke' threats discouraged
19 Feb 03  |  England

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