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Fine for man who told police 'I'm a terrorist'

05.09.06

A man who told Glasgow Airport police he was 'a terrorist worker for Osama Bin Laden' has been handed a substantial fine.

Paul Canning, 20, caused so much alarm to fellow passengers that police were summoned to deal with him after his Emirates flight from Dubai touched down at Glasgow Airport on 18 May. A court heard he then told police officers: 'I am a terrorist - a worker of Osama Bin Laden.'

Paisley Sheriff Court was told that Canning had been shouting and swearing at other passengers and was under the influence of alcohol during the flight. Police were asked to attend as passengers disembarked from the aircraft.

Canning, of Wemyss Bay, was warned to calm down but reacted angrily and told police: 'I am a terrorist - a worker of Osama Bin Laden.' He was immediately arrested due to the nature of the comments and the fact that members of the public who were in the vicinity appeared to be apprehensive. The court heard that instead of seeing sense, Canning 'continued to rant' and was removed from the terminal building and taken to Paisley's Mill Street police HQ.

A defence agent said her client had 'an exemplary work history' and was employed in Dubai. On the day in question, he had been returning home for annual leave and had consumed beers and spirits onboard the aircraft.

Sheriff James Spy said that he accepted all that had been said on his behalf and also that he must have obtained all of the alcohol involved onboard the aircraft. He said: 'It seems to me that the question of alcohol in-flight is an issue which needs to be addressed in the current climate.'

Spy added: 'Due to the nature of this offence, I intend to hit you hard in your pocket.' Canning was fined £2,500.

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