An irritated businessman trying to get off a delayed Cathay Pacific flight to Seoul last July told a flight attendant there was a bomb in his checked-in baggage, a court was told on Tuesday.
West Kowloon Court heard that many passengers were annoyed by the delay as the captain did not provide a new departure time while the aircraft was undergoing emergency air-conditioning repairs.
Among them was Fung Wai-hoi, who demanded to get off the plane after more than three hours of delay because he was feeling unwell from his high blood pressure and the cabin’s high temperature.
But when a flight attendant asked for his boarding pass to collect his checked-in baggage, Fung replied: “I don’t want the checked-in baggage, leave it here to explode.”
The 67-year-old later told police what he really said was that he was “so hot he could explode”.
But magistrate Peony Wong Nga-yan rejected the claim as she noted that the flight attendant had repeated what he had said for confirmation before she alerted her superiors and police.
Fung was convicted of one count of communicating false information as to the existence of a bomb.
He was cleared of another charge of using threatening, abusive, obscene or offensive language because flight attendants gave different versions of what he allegedly said and there were many people scolding staff at the same time.
Defence counsel Lawrence Lok Ying-kam SC said in mitigation that his client was a successful and generous businessman who only committed the offence because he was irritated by the delay.
“There wasn’t an actual bomb, he only claimed there was,” he said.
Fung will be sentenced on March 20, pending background and community service order reports.