Man Faces 20 Years In Prison After Pleading Guilty To Trying To Take Over MAS Flight MH128

He had tried to enter the cockpit of MH128 which was flying from Melbourne to KL.

Cover image via The West Australian

A 25-year-old, who had tried to forcefully enter the cockpit of MAS flight MH128 flying from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur, has pleaded guilty to trying to take control by threatening to bomb the plane

The man, who was identified as Manodh Marks, a Sri Lankan student, had forced with his actions the MAS flight to turn back to Melbourne shortly after take-off.

Marks was subdued by passengers who helped the cabin crew to tie the man down as the plane headed back to Melbourne.

The Sri Lankan pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court

"I plead guilty, your honour," the Australian Associated Press reported Marks telling Magistrate Simon Zebrowski through an interpreter at the Magistrates' Court in Melbourne to a single charge of trying to take control of an aircraft.

During his attempt to take over the flight MH128, the 25-year-old had caused a commotion as he attacked a female member of the cabin crew and shouted that he wanted to "blow the plane up"

According to reports, he bought a ticket and boarded the flight MH128 bound for Kuala Lumpur on 31 May, the same day he was released from psychiatric care.

MAS flight MH128 was carrying 337 passengers onboard.

While he was initially charged with multiple serious offences, prosecutors dropped a number of them including a more serious charge of attempting to hijack after Marks struck a plea deal

According to a report in The Star Online, which cited an Australian daily The Age, the 25-year-old, who is currently in custody and will face the Melbourne County Court in April 2018, has struck a plea deal with prosecutors agreeing to a single charge of attempting to take control of an aircraft.

Marks' plea deal saw prosecutors withdrawing serious charges such as that of an attempted hijack of an aircraft, a charge of reckless conduct endangering an aircraft's safety, a charge of threatening to kill or injure anyone onboard.

While he will face a plea hearing at the Melbourne County Court in April next year, he did not make any request for bail.

He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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