Jamaican jailed for 20 years for plane hijack bid

Thu Oct 8, 2009 5:16pm EDT
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KINGSTON (Reuters) - A would-be hijacker who held more than 180 people at gunpoint aboard a Canadian charter jet in Jamaica in April was jailed for 20 years on Thursday.

Stephen Fray, 21, had demanded to be flown to Cuba after storming the CanJet plane at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica's prime tourist resort, on April 19.

He was sentenced in a Montego Bay court to 20 years on a charge of assault, 20 years for shooting with intent, 20 years for robbery with aggravation and 18 for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

But he will spend no more than 20 years in prison as the sentences will run concurrently.

Fray, armed with a .38-caliber revolver when he forced his way aboard the CanJet plane, eventually released the passengers unharmed and was overpowered by police after an eight-hour standoff.

His lawyer, George Thomas, argued his client did not know what he was doing when he tried to hijack the plane and was mentally unfit to stand trial.

(Reporting by Horace Helps; Editing by Pascal Fletcher and John O'Callaghan)