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national news lafm header 2019

Brisbane Airport bomb hoaxer jailed

A knife-wielding man who prompted "mass panic" when he chased his estranged wife through Brisbane Airport before pulling a fake bomb from a suitcase has been sentenced to six years in jail.

Gamal Elsaied Elboushi earlier pleading guilty to a string of charges related to the 2019 incident which led to the airport being evacuated and disrupted its operations for hours.

The 52-year-old wore wristbands into which he had inserted needles - poking outwards - and warned police they contained snake venom.

He smuggled a knife and fake bomb into the airport inside a suitcase, threatened to stab himself to death and told police he was happy to die that day.

The award-winning cinematographer's behaviour on February 2, 2019 was "criminally appalling", Brisbane District Court Judge Suzanne Sheridan said in sentencing Elboushi on Tuesday.

"Its impact was very far-reaching," she added.

His actions prompted a mass panic, with people fleeing the international terminal's food court, crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso earlier told the court.

Elboushi surrendered peacefully to police after about 90 minutes, although it was another two hours before airport operations returned to normal.

During that time, 16 departing and arriving aircraft were delayed, costing the airport more than $1 million.

Ms Kelso said the educated and mature man "must have known the fear and terror that his acts would cause".

For his ex-wife and two daughters, the offending will have a "grave and long-lasting impact", she said.

But defence barrister Angus Edwards said Elboushi's actions, while appalling, were not malicious.

"He was too absorbed in his own emotional pain," Mr Edwards told the court.

Mr Edwards said Elboushi moved from Egypt to Australia in 2011, but could only get work as a security officer despite having accolades and awards for his work in the film industry.

Judge Sheridan sentenced Elboushi to six years' imprisonment for making a false statement that could be inferred there was a plan to damage or destroy a commonwealth air navigation facility.

He was also sentenced to other jail terms to be served concurrently for other offences relating to the incident.

Elboushi will be eligible for parole after serving three years in prison.

© AAP 2020