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Gatwick drone may never have existed as couple are released without charge

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Police have revealed that the drone responsible for hundreds of cancelled or diverted Gatwick flights might not have even existed.

Officers were said to be keeping an open mind after a damaged drone was discovered at the airport on December 22.

But while Detective Chief Superintendent for Surrey and Sussex Police Jason Tingley said it was a working assumption that the aerial vehicle is connected to airports closure, he could not confirm its involvement.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: An aircraft comes in to land as the runway is reopened at Gatwick Airport on December 21, 2018 in London, England. Authorities at Gatwick have reopened the runway after drones were spotted over the airport on the night of December 19. The shutdown sparked a succession of delays and diversions in the run up to the Christmas getaway, in what authorities have called a "deliberate act" to disrupt the airport. Police continue their search for the drone operators responsible. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Police said there was always a possibility that there may not have been any genuine drone activity in the first place (Picture: Getty Images)

We are also going through many reports of sightings of drone activity over the last few days, he said.

We are meticulously going through that information to see if that produces any other further lines of inquiry, and also where we may focus our efforts in terms of house-to-house inquiries, CCTV footage, and any other information that will help us work through this investigation.

Image ??Licensed to i-Images Picture Agency. 22/12/2018. London, United Kingdom. Tottenham stabbing. A police cordon can still be seen at the crime scene. A young man has been stabbed to dead in an alleyway off a busy high street in north London. Emergency services were scrambled to Albert Place, off Tottenham High Road, at 1:20 am on Saturday. The victim was pronounced dead in hospital. Picture by Gustavo Valiente / i-ImagesTwo teenagers arrested on suspicion of murder after North London stabbing

He added that there was always a possibility that there may not have been any genuine drone activity in the first place, but that officers were working on a range of information from members of the public, police officers and Gatwick staff who had said otherwise.

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Drones were first spotted at Gatwick on the night of December 19, causing the airport to grind to a halt the next day.

It was then shut for 36 hours after more than 50 sightings of a drone, with more than 140,000 people having their flights cancelled or delayed.

TAKEN WITHOUT PERMISSION/EDITORIAL CALL Picture shows husband and wide Paul Gait and Elaine Kirk-Gait who were under arrest today (Sat) in connection with flying drone at Gatwick Airport. Gait, 47, is a builder with a fascination for flying model helicopters and neighbours at their home in Auckland Close, Crawley, West Sussex, said that Elaine Kirk-Gait worked at Gatwick Airport.

Paul Gait, 47, and his wife Elaine Kirk, 54, were held in custody for 36 hours

A couple arrested on December 21 in connection to the drone have since been released without charge.

Former soldier Paul Gait, 47, and his wife Elaine Kirk, 54, were held in custody for 36 hours after a tip-off from a member of the public.

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John Allard, whose daughter Gemma had an eight-year relationship with Mr Gait and is the mother of his 15-year-old son, slammed the police for their appalling investigation.

The 68-year-old, who runs Allard Double Glazing where Mr Gait works, said he could have provided police with a clear alibi for his employee if they had only asked.

I know Paul well, hes worked for me for 17 years and this is going to hit him like a 10-tonne truck, he said.

Paul Gait, 47, and his wife Elaine, 54, arriving home after were arrested in the wake of the Gatwick caused by a drone flying over the airfield. Crawley, 23rd December 2018

The couple have been released without charge (Picture: SWNS)

Paul Gait is as harmless as a bloody new born fly. He really is, hes the most inoffensive bloke youll ever meet.

Although there was a complete lack of evidence, the police ripped his house apart.

thumbnail for post ID 8279913Musician continues to play guitar while surgeons operate on his brain

He refers to me as a second father and he always comes to me if there are any problems in his life. I know this will mentally destroy him.

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Paul Gait doesnt own a drone. The drone he had he sold back in mid-summer. It was only a silly little one – anyone could have gone and bought in Hamleys.

Sussex Police have really dropped the ball on this. I have always supported the police and I like to think I always would but in this case I think they have really got it wrong.

Sussex Police Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley speaking to the media at Gatwick airport which has been closed after drones were spotted over the airfield last night and this morning. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday December 20, 2018. See PA story AIR Gatwick. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said police are still investigating (Picture: PA)

Lets also not overlook the fact I am wondering what long-term damage this would have on my business.

Gatwick Airport is now back open and running as normal, confirming that they have not had any flight cancellations relating to drone activity today.

They are currently offering a reward of £50,000 for information leading to the capture of those responsible.

It is thought the cost of the temporary shut down could cost the airport millions.

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