June 07, Melbourne: A Sri Lankan man who threatened to blow up an international flight minutes after take-off from Melbourne has been jailed for 12 years.
Manodh Marks, 26, shouted he had a bomb as the Malaysia Airlines flight MH128 bound for Kuala Lumpur took off from Melbourne on May 31 last year and the flight was forced to turn back, Australian Associated Press reported.
The visibly agitated, ice-fueled Marks ran down the aisle of the Airbus A330 holding two electronic devices with flashing blue lights, saying he was going to blow up the plane.
Marks was actually holding a speaker device and a power bank. The court was told Marks was in a drug-induced psychotic state at the time.
He was tackled by passengers and crew as he shouted about a bomb while trying to get into the cockpit of the plane.
His actions subjected the 300 passengers and crew to 15 minutes of terror in the air and another 90 minutes on the tarmac after the plane aborted its flight.
Marks pleaded guilty to the federal charge of attempting to take control of an aircraft, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years' jail.
He was jailed for 12 years on Thursday with a minimum term of nine years.
The Sri Lankan had been living in Dandenong and studying hospitality after his "prosperous" family sent him to Australia for education.
But he had fallen into regular ice use, and on the night of the flight was suffering a drug-induced psychosis with delusions.