Airport bomb joke backfires with man fined $1800

THE man behind the second bomb hoax within a week at Gladstone Airport last month has been fined $1800 in Gladstone Magistrates Court.

New Zealand-born Damon Robert Bright, 41, appeared in court on Tuesday, where he pleaded guilty to one count of making threats regarding aviation security.

The hoax was made about 12.30pm on April 1 when Bright approached the Qantas booking counter, where he began talking to a female Qantas employee.

The court heard that when asked whether he had any dangerous goods in his bag, Bright responded "No, just a bomb", before telling the employee to not be so serious, that he was "just joking".

Far from funny, the throwaway comment caused the full evacuation of the airport as specialist bomb technician officers searched the building before it could be declared safe.

Police prosecutor Mick O'Rourke told the court it had been gross stupidity from Bright, who admitted to police during an interview that he was "a d**khead for doing it".

Bright told Magistrate Russell Warfield he wished he'd just kept his mouth shut and that he had not been aware of the previous bomb threat, made only three days before.

Mr Warfield condemned the irresponsible behaviour of Bright.

"Everybody else is inconvenienced by your act of stupidity," he said.

"It was a grossly stupid act."

Bright escaped conviction.

Topics:  aviation bomb hoax gladstone airport gladstone crime gladstone magistrates court

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