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Last Updated: Monday, 11 August, 2003, 19:59 GMT 20:59 UK
Airport 'trespass' hairdresser cleared
Philadelphia skyline
Sarah Johnson was held for 30 hours in Philadelphia
A British hairdresser convicted of causing a security alert at a US airport has been cleared on appeal.

Sarah Johnson, from Friar Park, Wednesbury, West Midlands, had her guilty verdict for defiant trespass overturned on Monday, her lawyer John Elbert said.

The 22-year-old was fined 325 by Philadelphia Municipal Court following the trial last August.

Prosecutors claimed she caused a security scare after breaching a restricted area at the city's airport in February.

She was boarding a flight to Puerto Rico, where she was due to start work as a hairdresser on a cruise liner.

Strip search

The resulting 90-minute shutdown cost the airport an estimated 500,000 as up to 2,000 passengers were evacuated and flights temporarily halted, the court had heard.

Ms Johnson was later strip-searched, handcuffed and held for 30 hours by US officials investigating the incident.

But she had always maintained that airport security staff waved her through because she was late.

Mr Elbert said: "We're very happy with the result. At long last it is all over for Sarah."

Ms Johnson was not in the US to hear the result.

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