Drunken man sneaks onto Birmingham Airport runway just to “prove how bad airport security is”

Lee Jezard was "absolutely slaughtered" when he decided to sneak onto a luggage conveyor belt

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The Independent Online

A drunken passenger who missed his flight to Ibiza was able to evade airport security and sneak onto an empty plane just so he could “prove how bad airport security was”.

Lee Jezard was able to sneak onto an airport luggage conveyor belt at Birmingham Airport last week, before running across the airfield and sneaking his way onto the empty Lufthansa plane – just hours before flight MH17 was downed in the over eastern Ukraine killing 298 people.

Jezard, 22, from Worcester, had arrived late for a plane that was due to take him to Ibiza for a holiday with five male friends.

He had rescheduled his flight for the morning after, but not having enough money to pay for a hotel room, he, instead, decided to spend the night “getting slaughtered” at an airport bar.

Inebriated and with the airport deserted, Jezard then decided that he would sneak behind the check-in counter and force his way onto one of the luggage conveyor belts.

The 22-year-old who lives in Evesham, Worcester said: 'I went downstairs and it was quite empty with just a few cleaners around and I thought “this doesn't look very secure”

“I wondered if I could expose a lapse in their security and got on the conveyor belt behind the check-in desks.

“I made it through and it looks like a factory back there, it is absolutely massive.”

Once on the runway, Jezard spotted an empty Lufthansa plane and decided to board it. It was not until a cleaner spotted Jezard that the alarm was raised.

Jezard said: “I was trying to convince him (the cleaner) I was the co-pilot. He believed it for a minute but then he called police and they arrested me.”

On being arrested, Jezard told the police that his reason for doing what he did was to “prove how bad airport security is.”

A source from Birmingham Airport told The Telegraph that it was one of the biggest airport security breaches that he had been seen.

“It is scary that this was allowed to happen,” the source said, “He could have done anything to that plane or another plane, they must have had to do a lot of checks afterwards.”

“You have seen things abroad where a person has made it on to the airfield but I have never heard of it happening in Britain. It is terrifying really.”

Despite having a flight scheduled for the morning after, Jezard was taken into custody and banned from the flight.

He has also been put on a no-fly list until he appears at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on August 20.

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said Mr Jezard was arrested at around 1.10am on Thursday, July 17, at the airport.

She said: “He was charged later that day with the offence of entering a security restricted area of an aerodrome without the permission of the manager and a separate offence of boarding an aircraft without permission.

“He was released on bail, with conditions not to attend any airport in the UK, and is due to appear before Birmingham Magistrates on August 20.”

 Birmingham Airport confirmed that a man was arrested by West Midlands Police in the early hours of Thursday 17 July.