Peterborough man jailed for trying to get on flight with air pistols

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A Peterborough man who tried to get on a flight at Stansted Airport with hand luggage containing an air pistol, pellets and a balaclava has been jailed for two years and three months.

Yuksel Demirtas, formerly of Granville Street, Peterborough, was “talking gibberish” when he was caught and later claimed to have been planning to shoot rabbits in Turkey.

Demirtas, 39, was stopped at the Essex airport on November 2 last year by security staff as he waited to board a flight to Istanbul with a one-way ticket, Ipswich Crown Court heard today (Thursday).

Officials opened his hand luggage and found a silver air pistol, 111 pellets and a magazine containing seven pellets together with a balaclava and a plastic bag containing gas canisters.

Checks on his other luggage revealed a quantity of cannabis.

Demirtas was found guilty at an earlier hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court of possessing a dangerous article in an aerodrome and possessing a quantity of cannabis.

Although he declined to give evidence, Demitris had told a psychiatrist that he bought the gun in Peterbough market to shoot rabbits and intended to do so in Turkey, the court heard.

Defending, Steven Levy said Demirtas had been “very unwell” at the time of the offences and had sought help from mental health professionals.

He had decided to return to Turkey where members of his extended family would be able to take care of him and had “packed up his life” in a suitcase to fly back to Istanbul.

The bag in which the gun was found also contained hand tools which indicated that Demirtas had not known what he was doing as they were bound to have found by airport x-ray machines.

Despite pleading not guilty on psychiatric advice claiming he had been mentally ill, the jury had found Demirtas guilty, said Mr Levy. Reports from two psychiatrists had offered conflicting opinions about his condition which was now being managed with medication.