Trinidad student intended to steal plane to ‘harm himself’

Nishad Sankat in court

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) The 22-year-old Trinidad and To­ba­go na­tion­al who has been charged with at­tempt­ing to steal an Amer­i­can Air­lines air­craft at the Mel­bourne Air­port in Flori­da, want­ed to use the air­craft to “harm him­self”.

This was re­vealed at court pro­ceed­ings held at the Bre­vard Coun­ty Jail just af­ter 2pm Fri­day.

Nishal Sankat was charged with bur­glary, tres­pass­ing and grand theft.

The judge ini­tial­ly told the court that she could not find prob­a­ble cause on the grand theft charge be­cause there was no ev­i­dence that he in­tend­ed to steal the plane.

How­ev­er, she found prob­a­ble cause on the oth­er two charges.

It was on­ly af­ter the spe­cial agent in­volved in the case re­turned and told the court that Sankat ad­mit­ted that he want­ed to take the air­craft to harm him­self, that she found prob­a­ble cause on the mat­ter of grand theft.

He was grant­ed a bond (bail) on the first two charges but not on the charge of grand theft, mean­ing he will have to stay be­hind bars.

The pros­e­cu­tion ob­ject­ed to the bond on the ba­sis that Sankat is a dual cit­i­zen of Trinidad and To­ba­go and Cana­da and al­so on the ba­sis that he was deemed a threat to the com­mu­ni­ty.

Af­ter be­ing ques­tioned by the judge, Sankat told the court that he had not been in touch with his fam­i­ly, but ad­mit­ted that he tried to call them.He said that he was aware that his fam­i­ly knew he was in­car­cer­at­ed.

The court al­so heard that Sankat had been med­ical­ly eval­u­at­ed since he was ar­rest­ed.

Sankat was ar­rest­ed af­ter breach­ing the fence at the air­port and board­ing the air­craft.

He was dis­cov­ered by the main­te­nance crew who chal­lenged him and alert­ed law en­force­ment of­fi­cers.

There was air­port was locked down and sev­er­al flights were de­layed.

Sankat, a for­mer pupil of Hillview Col­lege and is the son of for­mer prin­ci­pal of the Uni­ver­si­ty of the West In­dies, Prof Clement Sankat.

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