Man fined for boarding scrapped Boeing 747 at Cotswold Airport

AN ‘urban explorer’ whose hobby is visiting abandoned structures and photographing the interiors has fallen foul of the law after clambering on board a Boeing 747 jumbo jet being stored at the Cotswold Airport at Kemble, near Cirencester.

Liam Greig, 32, of Garland Avenue, Western-Super-Mare, was fined £240 yesterday (Sept 29) for trespassing onto a restricted area at the Kemble Airfield.

At Cheltenham Magistrates Court prosecutor Caitlin Brown said Greig was one of four men who entered a security restricted area surrounding the Kemble Airfield on January 30 this year and climbed aboard the Boeing 747 registered as G-CIVL and photographed himself inside the aircraft, which was originally part of the British Airways fleet of planes.

The airport staff spotted the intruders as they were leaving the airfield in a car.

The court was told that police conducted an investigation into the incident and Greig was located to his Facebook page after publishing the photographs of the inside of the jumbo jet with him wearing a face mask.

Greig was subsequently interviewed by police and gave a full and frank admission to the officers.

Stefan Sims, defending, said that only two of the four men allegedly involved had been charged and Greig’s co-defendant was currently in hospital.

Mr Sims added: “Had Greig not given a full statement, the police might have had trouble in bringing the case to court. He is a family man who has a number of health conditions.

“His hobby is being an urban explorer and he attends many abandoned sites in the South West locality that included former stately homes, tunnels and industrial buildings.

“But following this incident he has not embarked on any further adventures. He has very much learnt his lesson from this court process.”

Greig pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing t0 a charge that without the authority of the manager of Kemble Aerodrome and without reasonable excuse, he entered a restricted area of the airfield on January 30, 2021. He also admitted boarding a Boeing aircraft without permission from Cotswold Airport or from the airplane’s owner.

District Judge Nicholas Wattam told Greig: “It seems to me that as an urban explorer you trespass on a number of properties where you are not entitled to and this instance it was an airfield.

“However you have admitted what you have done to the police and in court at the earliest opportunity and I am going to deal with you on the basis of what you said happened and that you didn’t cause any damage.

“Notwithstanding all of that, you were on the airfield without permission and you need to be punished.”

The judge fined Greig £240 and ordered him to pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £34.

The airplane in question was delivered to British Airways in March 1997. It was taken out of service in March 2020 and flew into the Cotswold Airport with its One World livery the following month along with other planes that were also retired from the BA fleet. The plane, which had four Rolls Royce engines, has since been broken up.

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