Arrested couple in Gatwick drone scandal say they feel ‘completely violated’

Arrested couple in Gatwick drone scandal say they feel ‘completely violated’

The couple who were arrested and released in connection with the Gatwick drone scandal have broken their silence saying they feel "completely violated".

Speaking in tears in front of the cameras for the first time with his wife Elaine Kirk-Gait, Paul Gait said: "As you can probably imagine, we are feeling completely violated.

"Our home has been searched, and our privacy and identity completely exposed.

"Our names, photos and other personal information have been broadcast throughout the world."

Mr Gait, 47 and Mrs Kirk-Gait, 54, have questioned by police over the drone disruption at Gatwick Airport.

Speaking to Sky News outside their home near the West Sussex hub, the former squaddie added: "We are deeply distressed, as are our family and friends, and we are currently receiving medical care."

It comes after it emerged there may never have been any drones last week.

But these suggestions were down to "poor communications", police have said today.

But Mr Gait, a window fitter, today said: "The way we were initially perceived is disgusting. Although those that knew us, didn’t doubt us for a second.

"Post released without charge or further action, we are totally overwhelmed by the support we have received from the people all over the world and we would like to thank every single one that has done that.

"We would ask that the press please respect our privacy and leave us to try and get through Christmas as best we can and no further comments will be made at this time. Thank you."

Mr Gait’s boss yesterday said the accusations "will destroy him". John Allard, 40, also slammed the way Sussex Police handled things.

Ministers were briefed on the latest situation at the airport in a conference call amid growing criticism of the handling of investigation by Sussex Police.

More than 200,000 people had flights cancelled in and out of the UK’s second busiest airport last week.

But speaking today, Sussex Police’s deputy chief constable Jo Shiner said: "We can unequivocally state that there have been numerous illegal drone sightings at the airport over three days from 19 to 21 December.

"There were numerous reports clustered around 37 occasions where a drone or drones were seen and I am keen for those responsible to be brought to justice.

"The impact of this criminal and reckless behaviour has been enormous and we are determined to locate those responsible to bring them to justice.

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"We are investigating this under the Aviation and Maritime Security Act which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

"We urge the public to contact us if they feel they have information that will help us in our investigation.

"Contacting Crimestoppers they can do this anonymously. We ask the public to continue to support us by reporting any suspicious activity."

There had been more than 200 sightings since the first drone was spotted in the Gatwick area on Wednesday, with police taking 67 statements, including from police officers and airport staff.

In a statement, the airport said: "We are clear that there were multiple confirmed sightings of drone activity at the airport. Therefore we took the necessary actions to ensure the safety of passengers using our airport.

"Safety will always be our number one priority. We continue to support the police with their investigations into this illegal and deliberate act to disrupt Gatwick Airport’s operations."

Gatwick has offered a £50,000 reward, through Crimestoppers, and another £10,000 has been put up by the charity’s chairman, Lord Ashcroft, for the arrest of those responsible for the chaos.

Read More

Gatwick Airport drone ‘attack’

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