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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 15:00 GMT
Aircraft fire bid man imprisoned
Edinburgh Sheriff Court
The court heard Scanlin had been behaving bizarrely
An airline passenger has been jailed for trying to start a fire on a flight to Edinburgh.

The city's sheriff court heard that Alyn Scanlin, 48, from Basildon, tried to light a piece of paper stuck in a bottle on a flight from Stansted.

Scanlin's defence lawyer said he was so drunk at the time that he could remember nothing.

Jailing him for 10 weeks, Sheriff Kathrine Mackie said Scanlin had sparked off a major incident.

The concerned pilot had notified police before landing at Edinburgh, where 30 officers, including an armed unit and forensic team, were waiting.

The result of your behaviour was a major incident alert involving a considerable number of officers
Sheriff Kathrine Mackie

Sheriff Mackie told Scanlin: "It would have been very alarming for the other passengers and crew to see someone apparently trying to set alight what appeared to be a petrol bomb.

"Recent events throughout the world would have made their alarm all the greater.

"The result of your behaviour was a major incident alert involving a considerable number of officers from Lothian and Borders police."

Glazed eyes

She said he was lucky the case had been prosecuted at a summary level which carried a maximum jail sentence of three months.

This was discounted to 72 days in jail because of his earlier guilty plea to causing a breach of the peace.

At an earlier hearing the court heard that passengers sitting near Scanlin on the morning flight had noticed his eyes were glassy and glazed.

He is not a terrorist and is appalled and disgusted with his own behaviour
Graham Horsman
Defence lawyer

He had acted bizarrely, failing to obey cabin crew instructions to fasten his seatbelt and stay seated.

He then took a bottle of water belonging to another passenger from a seat rack, stuffed a piece of paper into the neck and tried to fire to it with a lighter.

Defence agent Graham Horsman said that Scanlin, of Debden Green, Basildon, was so drunk he could recall nothing.

"He is not a terrorist and is appalled and disgusted with his own behaviour," Mr Horsman added.

"He was extremely drunk and would never have behaved like that if he had not been drunk."


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