A Frenchman accused of entering Gatwick Airport with an air rifle and a knife has been remanded in custody.
Jerome Chauris was detained on Saturday, after he allegedly walked into the airport’s North Terminal carrying the weapons, sparking a major terror alert.
His arrest came as security was increased at British ports and public places in response to the attacks by Islamic State gunmen in Paris that claimed 132 lives.
The 41-year-old from Vendome, central France, was charged with possession of a dangerous article in an aerodrome and possession of a blade in a public place.
According to court documents the weapons were an ‘MP5 calibre 4.5mm air rifle’ and a lock knife.
Chauris appeared in the dock at Crawley Magistrates’ Court, West Sussex, where a minute’s silence was observed for the Paris victims at 11am.
Flanked by two uniformed dock officers, he Identified himself with the help of an interpreter.
Wearing a white striped shirt and his black shoulder-length hair swept back, he wept and made several comments in French during the proceedings.
The incident, which took place at around 9.30am on Saturday morning, sent parts of the busy airport into lockdown and caused significant disruption to travellers.
The court heard how thousands of passengers and airport staff were evacuated from the terminal’s ‘landside’ concourse, the area before luggage screening and security checks open to the public
Officers from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team then moved in and carried out a small controlled explosion on a suspicious package.
The North Terminal remained closed for six hours, although the airport’s South Terminal remained operational.
Prosecutor Beata Murphy applied for the case to be dealt with in the Crown Court.
Bench chairwoman, Ann Schroder, remanded Chauris, of no fixed abode, until his next appearance at Lewes Crown Court on December 14.