Man Jailed For Starting Fire On Birmingham Flight To Sharm El-Sheikh

10 March 2017, 15:06 | Updated: 10 March 2017, 15:40

Monarch Flight Birmingham Airport

A man from Kidderminster who started a fire in the toilets of a flight from Birmingham has been jailed.

The Monarch Airbus A321 was 35,000ft (10,668m) in the air and 100 miles (160km) from the Egyptian coast when the captain was told the crew were having difficulty extinguishing the blaze in a waste paper bin.

The captain issued a emergency call and declared he was looking to carry out an emergency landing on the flight from Birmingham to Sharm el-Sheikh on August 27 2015.

John Cox, from Kidderminster, pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered and was sentenced to four years and six months in prison at Birmingham Crown Court.

The Crown Prosecution Service said a fire alarm had already gone off in a bathroom on the plane carrying 194 passengers and seven crew an hour into the flight but this was put out by airline staff.

The second fire took place at around 5.40pm, when the captain issued the emergency call. It was only after the blaze was extinguished that he cancelled the mayday.

Paul Reid, District Crown Prosecutor for West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The motive of John Cox behind such a senseless crime is still unclear, but what is clear is that his irresponsible actions put the lives of all passengers and crew on board the aircraft in danger.

"We commend the cabin crew for their quick action in extinguishing the fires, which prevented the situation escalating.''