Nelson friends accused of threatening to blow up plane refused bail

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Two friends who allegedly threatened to blow up an aeroplane and kill its passengers and crew were today remanded in custody.

Taxi driver and supermarket employee Tayyab Subhani (30) and restaurant worker Mohammed Safdar (41) appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court charged with endangering an aircraft.

File pjoto dated 24/5/2013 of passengers disembarking Pakistan International Airlines flight PK709 bound for Manchester from Lahore, at Stansted Airport, Essex. Two men will appear in court today charged with endangering an aircraft after a passenger jet was diverted mid-flight. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday May 27, 2013. Taxi driver Tayyab Subhani, 30, and restaurant worker Mohammed Safdar, 41, both from Nelson in Lancashire, are charged with endangering an aircraft, after a passenger jet from Pakistan to Manchester was diverted with an RAF fighter escort to the Essex air hub on Friday.  See PA story COURTS Plane. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

File pjoto dated 24/5/2013 of passengers disembarking Pakistan International Airlines flight PK709 bound for Manchester from Lahore, at Stansted Airport, Essex. Two men will appear in court today charged with endangering an aircraft after a passenger jet was diverted mid-flight. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday May 27, 2013. Taxi driver Tayyab Subhani, 30, and restaurant worker Mohammed Safdar, 41, both from Nelson in Lancashire, are charged with endangering an aircraft, after a passenger jet from Pakistan to Manchester was diverted with an RAF fighter escort to the Essex air hub on Friday. See PA story COURTS Plane. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The count alleges the defendants, from Nelson, made false threats that the “crew and passengers would be killed and the aircraft blown up before landing which was false, misleading or deceptive”.

The defendants, who were both born in Burnley, spoke only to confirm their names and addresses but their lawyers said they would deny the charge.

The duo were arrested on Friday at Stansted Airport after Pakistan International Airways flight PK709 from Lahore was diverted from Manchester.

They were travelling home after attending Safdar’s mother’s funeral, the court heard.

The Boeing 777 plane, carrying 308 passengers, was shadowed into Stansted by an RAF Typhoon fighter jet after the pilot reported threats being made and landed at the Essex air hub at 2-20pm.

The magistrate, Sarah-Jane Davies, refused the defendants bail.

Safdar, a married father-of-three, of Hallam Crescent, and Subhani, of Townley Street, both Nelson, Lancs, will appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on August 5th for a plea and case management hearing.