A Sri Lankan man has admitted to trying to take control of a flight out of Melbourne, after his actions forced passengers to tackle him and force the plane to turn back.
Manodh Marks pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today for attempting to take control of Malaysia Airlines flight 128, which was bound for Kuala Lumpur on the 31st of May.
The 25-year-old tried to enter the cockpit of the plane while claiming that he had a bomb, which later turned out to be a portable speaker.
The Daily Mail said heavily armed bomb squad police stormed the plane on the tarmac and dragged him out in front of passengers.
The charge carries a maximum 20-year jail sentence, with prosecutors striking out a more serious charge of attempting to hijack an aircraft, in a plea deal.
A charge of reckless conduct endangering aircraft safety, by attempting to enter the cockpit and threatening to detonate an explosive, was also withdrawn.
While a third charge of threatening to destroy, damage or endanger the aircraft’s safety, or to kill or injure anyone on board, was also dropped.
Police said Marks, who at the time was living in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong on a student visa, was released from psychiatric care on the same day he bought a ticket and boarded the flight carrying 337 passengers.
He was remanded in custody to face the Melbourne County Court in April for a plea hearing and made no bid for bail.