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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 August 2005, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Teen cleared of airport bomb hoax
Angela Sceats
Angela Sceats told police she had been joking
An Australian gap year student accused of triggering an airport bomb scare has been cleared of any crime but told to pay her legal costs of some 15,000.

Angela Sceats, 19, of Sydney, was accused of writing text messages to a friend that caused the terror scare at Stansted Airport in November 2004.

Miss Sceats told Chelmsford Crown Court she did not think the texts would be taken seriously.

On Wednesday Miss Sceats was cleared of communicating false information.

'Running late'

But a judge ruled that she should pay her own legal costs - estimated by judicial sources to be about 15,000.

Miss Sceats spent 10 days in Holloway Prison, north London, after being remanded in custody by magistrates following her arrest in November.

"I just want to put this episode behind me," she said as she left court.

"I've always maintained from the moment of my arrest that this incident was an unfortunate misunderstanding. I would never intentionally cause a security alert."

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

'Joke' text

The court was told Miss Sceats was trying to catch a Ryanair flight to Dublin last November.

She was late for the departure and the prosecution accused her of asking friend Angela Forster to say there was a bomb on board in the hope the flight would be delayed.

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

Police halted three flights that were due to leave Stansted for Dublin and arrested Miss 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... It's all just been a joke."


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