Frenchman charged in London airport firearm scare

A Frenchman was charged for possessing an air rifle and a knife in Gatwick Airport.
A Frenchman was charged for possessing an air rifle and a knife in Gatwick Airport.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

LONDON (AFP) - A Frenchman who triggered an evacuation of one of Britain's busiest airports on Saturday has been charged with possessing an air rifle and a knife, police said on Sunday (Nov 15).

Police said Jerome Chauris, unemployed and of no fixed address from Vendome, in central France, had been carrying the rifle and a lock knife - a type of folding blade - at London's Gatwick Airport.

Carrying a "dangerous article" in an airport, and carrying a knife in public "without good reason" are illegal in Britain.

Chauris, 41, was seen acting suspiciously and discarding an item in a bin at the busy transport hub, said police, who evacuated an airport terminal and brought in bomb disposal experts to carry out a small controlled explosion.

British security forces have been on high alert since gun and bomb attacks claimed by the Islamic State group killed 129 people in Paris on Friday.

Chauris has been remanded in custody and is due to appear in court on Monday.