Man in court after Gatwick bomb scare chaos

Gatwick Airport was brought to a standstill by a bomb scare in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

Frenchman Jerome Chauris, 41 leaves Crawley Magistrates' Court. Photo by Darren Cool
Frenchman Jerome Chauris, 41 leaves Crawley Magistrates' Court. Photo by Darren Cool

Thousands of people were evacuated from the North Terminal after police received reports of a man putting a ‘suspicious package’ in a bin.

People were moved to hotels after the terminal was closed for more than six hours on Saturday (November 14).

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The incident cost the airport and passengers an estimated £1.2m.

Royal Logistic Corps bomb disposal teams attended alongside Sussex Police and West Sussex Fire and Rescue’s technical rescue unit.

A man was arrested and charged with possession of an air rifle and a lock knife in the public departures lounge shortly after 9.30am.

Jerome Chauris, 41, of no fixed address, entered no pleas to the charges when he appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Monday (November 16).

Keith Goacher, defending, said the alleged offences had no connection with the Paris attacks which left 129 people dead and hundreds injured on Friday night.

The court heard Chauris was a French national who was due to take a transit flight to his home country.

Police were called after a man reportedly threw a firearm from a piece of luggage into a bin, it was heard.

Beata Murphy, prosecuting, said officers attended in seconds and drew their firearms.

Officers found a firearm in the bin, shooting targets and military identification in a suitcase, it was heard.

Mrs Murphy said: “Because there were concerns that the bin may contain IED (improvised explosive device) explosives the police declared a major incident at the airport and North Terminal at the airport was evacuated, which meant removing thousands of staff and passengers at probably the busiest time of the day.

“Later a decision was made to conduct a controlled explosion of the bin, its conculsion was that there was no IED in the bin.”

Mr Goacher said Chauris had travelled from an island in the South Pacific, where he had failed to find construction work, via Tokyo, and Heathrow. He was remanded in custody to appear at Lewes Crown Court on December 14.

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