Advertisement

Man charged after 'flying from London to New York without ticket or passport'

 (PA)
(PA)

Heathrow Airport is undergoing a major security review after a British man flew to New York without a boarding pass or passport - and is now missing again.

Craig Sturt arrived at Britain’s busiest airport on December 23 and tailgated other passengers through security and passport control, boarding a British Airways flight.

The unemployed 46-year-old was able to take a free seat after another passenger had missed the flight but it finally caught up with him when JFK Airport Officials accosted him.

US officials escorted him back to Britain where he was then arrested on Christmas Day on suspicion of fraud and aviation security offences.

Sturt has now been charged with obtaining services by deception, being unlawfully airside, boarding an aircraft without permission and has been remanded to appear at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court.

However, he is now registered by police as a missing person.

Sturt was reported missing to Thames Valley Police on January 25 and on January 31 the case was transferred to the Met and an investigation is now ongoing. Thames Valley Police said he was last seen on January 30.

The Met has not issued a missing person appeal.

The Sun reported that home secretary James Cleverly has “demanded answers” after the breach of security.

A source close to the Home Office said: “Heads will roll. It’s staggering this could happen. It doesn’t bear thinking about what might have happened if a terrorist had successfully boarded a flight undetected.

“This is a major embarrassment for Heathrow and Border Force, happening at our flagship airport. It’s not a great look for BA either – staff have simply been negligent and not done their jobs.”

A statement from the Metropolitan Police added: “We continue to work with all our partners to review and enhance the already robust security measures in place which are kept under constant review by the wider security partnership.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: "All people who go airside are subject to security screening, including the individual involved in this case.

“We are supporting the authorities with their ongoing investigation.”

British Airways said: “We are assisting the authorities with their investigation.”