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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2005, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
Bomb hoax texts 'were just jokes'
Angela Sceats
Angela Sceats told police she had been joking
A teenager accused of a bomb hoax that caused a huge alert at Stansted Airport told a jury she never thought the message would be taken seriously.

Angela Sceats, 19, of Sydney, Australia, said the message sent to her flatmate, Angela Forster, was one of a series of joke texts they sent.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Ms Sceats was heading to Stansted Airport, Essex, when she sent the text in November.

She denies communicating false information with intent.

'Late for flight'

She had been working as a waitress in Islington, north London, while travelling prior to starting university in Australia.

Earlier Chelmsford Crown Court was told that Ms Sceats was late for her flight, so she is alleged to have asked a friend to say there was a bomb on board hoping it would be delayed.

Ms Sceats told police she had been "joking", the court heard.

She was trying to catch a Ryanair flight to Dublin last November.

It was Ms Forster who dialled 999 to say there was a bomb on board the 0810 BST, the prosecution said.

'Running late'

Police halted three flights that were due to leave Stansted for Dublin and arrested Ms Sceats at the airport.

Jurors were told that when questioned by police at the Essex airport, she had said: "It has all been a bit of a misunderstanding. I was running late for my flight. I knew I would not make it.

"I told her to get them to hold the plane up. Tell them there is a bomb on board. It's all just been a joke."

The court was told police had considered closing the airport, but after an officer spoke to Ms Sceats he decided there was no bomb threat and allowed flights to leave as normal.

The trial continues.


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