Jury discharged in trial of pilot arrested at Norfolk airfield

Seething control tower.

Seething control tower. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The jury has been discharged in the trial of a pilot, who allegedly dropped off three illegal immigrants at a Norfolk airfield after failing to reach a verdict.

Algirdas Barteska, 61, was arrested at Seething Airfield having been spotted dropping off a man and woman with a five year-old child, who were illegal immigrants, from Albania.

Norwich Crown Court heard that Border Force officials stopped Barteska, who had just flown in the aircraft from Dinslaken, in Germany.

Barteska, of Paluknys, Lithuania, has denied three counts of assisting unlawful immigration, following the incident on June 24, this year.

Barteska has claimed the occupants were being taken on a test flight to Nottingham, with a view to buying the aircraft, but he had to suddenly land at Seething, when the woman and child felt sick.

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Judge Stephen Holt discharged the jury after they failed to reach a verdict after being out for over four hours.

A retrial is expected to take place in January next year.

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