JOKING that he had a bomb strapped to his chest proved un-funny and expensive for a restaurant owner.
The 42-year-old Turkish father-of-four, who has a family home in Chester, a kebab restaurant in Grays and a business in Turkey, was arrested at Heathrow and on Tuesday found himself in the dock at Isleworth Crown Court in West London facing the consequences of what the judge called: 'Your imbecilic, stupid and frightening behaviour.'
Yasar Karapina, of Queens Avenue, Chester, admitted communicating false information with intent to a BAA security guard at Heath-row's Terminal Three on May 21 and was fined £4,000 with £600 costs.
Prosecutor Lyall Thompson told the court Karapina was about to board a Turkish Airlines flight early that morning when security asked to search him 'because of apparent bulges'.
'He complied but as they patted his chest area, he brought his hands down and said 'I have a bomb inside' and touched his chest with his fingers. He was asked to repeat it and said again: 'I have a bomb inside.'
'It very quickly became apparent that he did not have a bomb on his person and was not being serious in what he said,' said Mr Thompson. 'He was not allowed to board the flight and when questioned said 'Yes, I did say it but I was joking'.'
Karapina then told police he had been drinking the previous evening, gone straight to the airport and had no sleep at all before preparing to fly off to Turkey.
'There is no suggestion this was a genuine terrorist incident,' said Mr Thompson.
Defence counsel Christopher Rodnell said he had been working since noon and was 'extremely tired having been awake all night.
'These proceedings have had a really traumatic effect on him and his family and he has been extremely worried about what might happen,' he said.
Judge Sam Katkhuda said he had been thinking of sending him to prison.
'A bomb hoax of this kind is an alarming public nuisance,' he said. 'There is absolutely nothing amusing or funny about it, especially given the current climate.
'What cannot be estimated accurately is the anxiety and apprehension that this sort of behaviour engenders,' he continued. 'It causes great distress and annoyance to those who run the airlines and even if it runs for only a few moments, it causes alarm.
'Your act was imbecilic, stupid and frightening and I was thinking of sending you to prison. The sentence must mark the public concern at this kind of mischievous criminal conduct,' he said.
'It is necessary to bring it home to those who indulge in this sort of criminal behaviour that harsh sentences will be imposed.'