Gatwick drone detectives sensationally admit ‘there may NEVER have been a drone attack’ as cops slammed over couple quizzed for 36 hours
GATWICK drone cops have been slammed for holding a married couple without charge over the airport chaos – before admitting ‘there may never have been a drone attack’.
Paul Gait, 47, and wife Elaine Kirk, 54, spent more than 36 hours being quizzed by detectives over the device which brought the airport to its knees.
Elaine Kirk and Paul Gait return home after being released without charge todaySWNS:South West News Service
They returned to their home in Crawley, Sussex today after friends and family insisted they weren’t the ‘eco warriors’ behind the attack.
As the culprit remains at large four days after the attacks, police have been criticised for their “appalling investigation”.
Det Ch Sup Jason Tingley said there was “no available footage and they are relying on witness accounts.”
Asked about speculation if there was never a drone, he said: “Of course, that’s a possibility. We are working with human beings saying they have seen something.”
Christmas chaos at Gatwick, what we know so far…
Elaine Kirk, 54, and model aircraft enthusiast Paul Gait, 47, have been released without charge
Gatwick have put up a £50,000 reward to find the real culprit
Cops have found a ‘damaged drone’ close to the airport, which is being investigated
The Sun revealed how a cyclist was spotted “frantically” packing two drones into a bag near the airport
More than 1,000 flights were ground with the chaos affecting around 14,000 passengers
The Army deployed ‘drone killer’ tech used in fight against ISIS jihadis to bring down the machines
Thousands are set for refunds and compensation after flights cancelled or delayed
Sussex Police Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley admitted ‘there may not have been drones in the first place’PA:Press Association
It comes as police revealed they found a damaged drone close to Gatwick and offered a £50,000 reward to catch the culprit.
Police are working through information relating to “persons of interest”, investigating more than 67 drone sightings and forensically examining the damaged drone, he insisted.
John Allard, who runs Allard Double Glazing, claimed he had tried to call cops to clear Paul’s name but officers never phoned him back.
He said: “Obviously the police could have handled it better just by asking the who, when and where. The police have handled this absolutely appallingly, they really have.”
Elaine Kirk and Paul Gait were arrested over the Gatwick Airport chaos but have now been released without chargeFacebook
He explained how window fitter Paul had been working on Wednesday in Kent and was driving John’s injured daughter around on Friday.
John said: “I know Paul well, he’s worked for me for 17 years and this is going to hit him like a 10-tonne truck. Paul Gait is as harmless as a bloody newborn fly.
“He really is, he’s the most inoffensive bloke you’ll ever meet.
“Although there was a complete lack of evidence, the police ripped his house apart. I know this will mentally destroy him.
Paul’s pals had insisted he was working at the timeSWNS:South West News Service
Elaine returns to her home in Crawley after 36 hours of questioningSWNS:South West News Service
“Sussex Police have really dropped the ball on this. I have always supported the police and I like to think I always would but in this case I think they have really got it wrong.”
Elaine and Paul were held by police for around 36 hours after cops stormed their home in Crawley – just five miles from Gatwick Airport.
Both looked tired as they were escorted into their house by police – with officers standing guard outside.
Forensic officers spent Saturday combing through their home and vehicles looking for potential evidence.
Paul is understood to be a window fitterFacebook
Det Chief Sup Tingley said: “Both people have fully co-operated with our enquiries and I am satisfied that they are no longer suspects in the drone incidents at Gatwick.
“Our inquiry continues at a pace to locate those responsible for the drone incursions, and we continue to actively follow lines of investigation.”
Pals claimed Paul, who reportedly served in Bosnia and Northern Ireland with the Royal Artillery, can’t have been behind the attacks that saw 1,000 flights cancelled or diverted.
John’s daughter Gemma, who helps run Allard Double Glazing in East Sussex and has a child with Paul, insists he was having a cup of tea with her at the time of the attacks.
His boss claims he was working at the time of the drone attacksFacebook
The 40-year-old told the Mirror: “He was with me at work the whole time the drones were up. Paul comes to my house every morning – I’ve got a child with him.
“The morning of this going on, he was sitting in my front room having a cup of tea with me – and the rest of the day he was working.
“They need to let him out and catch the right people. Paul wouldn’t do this, no chance.”
Stunned locals told how cops raided the couple’s £590,000 home on a quiet cul-de-sac as they arrested the couple.
Cops are now trying to find the true culprit – with Gatwick Airport offering the £50,000 reward through Crimestoppers.
The runway at Gatwick reopened on Friday morning but passengers were urged to check their flights before travelling as delays and cancellations entered a fourth day.
Police outside the couple’s homeChris Eades
Neighbours have been left stunned by the couple’s arrestFacebook
Elaine was named locally by residentsFacebook
The chaos has seen hundreds of flights cancelledPA:Press Association
Police and military on the roof at Gatwick AirportChris Eades
Can I claim compensation?
IF your flight is delayed or cancelled you might be due compensation of up to 600 euros (£542).
How much you’ll get depends on the length of the journey and the delay in reaching your final destination.
You also must be travelling on an EU airline or a flight that departed from an EU airport, and the cause of the disruption has to be the airline’s fault.
As the problems at Gatwick have been caused by drones, this is outside of the airlines’ control, which means you won’t be due compensation.
But you might be able to get a refund of your flight, a new flight, and food, drink and accomodation at the airport
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The chaos meant the Army employed “drone killer” tech used in fight against ISIS as the cat and mouse game between the moronic drone pilot and authorities continued.
The £2.6million technology uses a radio frequency jammer to crash drones.
The Israeli-made devices feature four radars covering a six-mile radius.
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